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3 - The Dale Earnhardt Story (2 Disc Collector's Edition)
3 - The Dale Earnhardt Story
2 Disc Collector's Edition
Actors: Barry Pepper, Elizabeth Mitchell, J.K. Simmons
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Genres: Drama, Television, Sports
PG-13     2004     1hr 32min

Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Barry Pepper stars as the greatest NASCAR driver of all time in the ESPN original movie "3." Growing up in the shadow of his father, Ralph, Dale Earnhardt is driven to prove that his dreams ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Barry Pepper, Elizabeth Mitchell, J.K. Simmons
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Genres: Drama, Television, Sports
Sub-Genres: Family Life, Drama, Auto Sports
Studio: Espn
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/14/2004
Original Release Date: 12/11/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 12/11/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 4
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Collector's Edition
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
See Also:

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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"."