Genres: Drama, Television, Documentary

Despite a limited TV budget and a tight 20-day shooting schedule, ESPN's 3 pays honorable tribute to NASCAR's greatest hero. Barry Pepper (the ace marksman in Saving Private Ryan) is perfectly cast as Dale Earnhardt, who r...  more »

Larger Image

Movie Details

Genres: Drama, Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Sports, Family Life, Television, Documentary
Format: DVD
Theatrical Release Date: 12/11/2004
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 8
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
See Also:

Similar Movies

Nascar The Imax Experience
Std Sub Ac3 Dol
   UR   2005
NASCAR The Ride of Their Lives
Director: Rory Karpf
   NR   2009   1hr 33min
Days of Thunder
Director: Tony Scott
   PG-13   2008   1hr 47min

Similarly Requested DVDs

   PG-13   2007   2hr 23min
Dreamer - Inspired By a True Story
Widescreen Edition
Director: John Gatins
   PG   2006   1hr 46min
Paul Blart Mall Cop
   PG   2009   1hr 31min
The Hunted
Full Screen Edition
Director: William Friedkin
   R   2003   1hr 34min
National Lampoon's Vacation
Full Screen Edition
Director: Harold Ramis
   R   1997   1hr 38min
Independence Day
   PG-13   2010
10000 BC
Director: Roland Emmerich
   PG-13   2008   1hr 49min
Top Gun
Director: Tony Scott
   PG   1998   1hr 50min
The Shaggy Dog
Director: Brian Robbins
   PG   2006   1hr 38min
Max Payne
Director: John Moore
   UR   2009   1hr 40min

Movie Reviews

Earnhardt Film Flawed, but Well-Made...
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 12/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

""3: The Dale Earnhardt Story" isn't going to win a lot of non-Nascar fans over to the sport, but as a biography, it is well-made, offers some believable insights on what made Earnhardt the often enigmatic person he was, and, in Barry Pepper, provides an eerily close approximation to the 'look' and 'feel' of the racing legend. Pepper will certainly receive an Emmy nomination for the role, and delivers such a powerful portrayal that you nearly forget how good the rest of the cast is.

While Elizabeth Mitchell is more glamorous than the real Teresa Earnhardt, she is quite solid and believable in the role; to truly appreciate how important Teresa's intelligence and business acumen were to Dale, it would have required a much longer movie, and might have seriously tilted the story away from Dale's other relationships, and the balance that Pepper and director Russell Mulcahy achieved.

Dale's early years come off best in the film, with a wonderful performance by J.K. Simmons as the inspirational Ralph Earnhardt. The grittiness and 'backwoods blue-collar' feel of Earnhardt's upbringing is well-conveyed, and reminiscent of "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "The River". The film loses a bit of steam when Dale begins racing, and as he achieves success, a lot of memorable moments had to be edited out, or telescoped down, which has disappointed some Earnhardt fans. Considering the time and budget constraints, however, I found the story to be remarkably accurate.

The young actors who portrayed Dale's children as adults should be singled out for recognition; race car driver/first-time actor Chad Mcumbee, while low-key, is pretty impressive as Dale Jr., conveying both a pride in his father, and frustration in being 'held back' so he could complete his education before being permitted to race; Corri English, while too cute, has an infectious smile and manner, and exhibits the Earnhardt joy of fast cars; best of all is newcomer Frank Glidden as oldest son Kerry, who, in a few brief scenes, offers a balanced, sensitive interpretation of the son Dale abandoned, finally winning his father's attention and respect, even as he sees Dale Jr. outshining him on the track. I look forward to seeing more of Glidden's work in future!

While there will certainly be a more detailed and polished feature film about Earnhardt in the future, this ESPN production is not without it's own merits, and provides an entertaining, dramatic overview of the racing legend's life."
Good biopic from ESPN!!
smoothjazzandmore | Clay, NY USA | 12/20/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"As a huge fan of "The Intimidator", I was very skeptical about how a TV movie would portray the greatest race car driver that ever lived. After viewing "3", I must say that I was impressed by the work. Being that this was a TV movie (And I'm not a big fan of TV movies.), it didn't surprise me that the director would tread very thin on the biographical history and not ruffle feathers any further about his love life, his relationship with his fellow drivers or other tracks. The portayal of Earnhardt by Barry Pepper was great. He captured his style and essence. However, I would have loved to see more about some of his rituals at the track. Maybe this is the first of many films that will try to give fans like myself and others who don't know him a feel of what he was like. This film has my blessing."
A decent IMPOSSIBLE task.
J. Damron | Norman, Oklahoma USA | 12/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The movie 3 was set up to be disappointing...A low budget ESPN film...A subject adored by millions....3 generations of memorable moments....and 92 minutes to tell the story. I wasn't an Earnhardt fan by any means, but you can't have heroes without villains. I AM however a lifelong NASCAR fan ( saw my first race in 1969) That being said, I wanted this movie to cover everything, I would've watched it if it was 4 hours long. The movie did open my eyes to alot of things. I never understood why Kerry Earnhardt seemed to be an outsider, now I know. The movie captures Dale Sr. adequately, but, Dale Earnhardt wasn't the "oh, he's okay" driver, you loved him or you hated him. period. And with ALL due respect, no film is ever going to satisfy ALL Earnhardt fans, he was a legend, a modern mythological figure, and given the circumstances, the producers did a good job. I wasn't an Earnhardt fan but, man do I miss him. If you loved the "Man In Black" it's no-brainer.....Get the DVD."
Close enough for television
William P. Clark | Murfreesboro, TN | 12/13/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I just watched the movie on ESPN for the third time and I like it. What they (the writers, actors and director) got right they got exceptionally so. The accents for example, I'm a Southerner, Tennessee not North Carolina, but the accents are good. I especially thought that the actor playing Dale Junior did a great job capturing his speech patterns.

The racing was good, given the fact that it would have been prohibitively expensive to recreate ALL of it. The use of actual NASCAR/ESPN footage really added to it.

Now for what I didn't like. They made Earnhardt look sweaty and sickly for most of the movie, as though they were trying to suggest that death was haunting his every footstep. I didn't know Dale, I'm simply an ESPN-watching fan, but I never thought of him looking or BEING that way. He always looked like he'd live forever, like he knew something the rest of us didn't and that was his shield. In this movie he doesn't look that way.

Also I didn't like that Dale always seemed to be teaching his son a lesson, all the one-liners he heard from his dad. It got a bit predictable and limiting after the first couple.

What they did here, is to focus on the father and son relationships of all the Earnhardt men. That's what this movie is about, go into it knowing that and you won't be disappointed.

Go into it expecting to see EVERYTHING about Dale's life, the racing, the rivalries, the fame, the arrogant, cool, fun side of Dale, and you'll be disappointed.

I found myself thinking that this was pretty good for television but the full-length feature film that will be made some day will be better.

Will they ever MAKE a full length Hollywood movie about Dale? Who knows. Part of me wants them to and part of me doesn't. Not if they can't do any better than the God-awful "Days Of Thunder"."