Sometimes fictional drama simply can’t compete with reality. There are reasons why movies based on actual events are so popular. Having said that, actual events also don’t always cooperate in taking place in the best possible way to make a great movie. This means that the story we get on the big screen is rarely perfectly accurate, some details or characters always go through changes, and that’s what some people are saying happened to a major character in Ford v Ferrari.
The new movie, which is currently being showered with awards attention, deals with the attempt by the Ford Motor Company’s attempt to build a car that can win the 24 hours at Le Mans road race, and while the underdog story is quite real, some have come out and said that the depiction of one character, Leo Beebe, played by Josh Lucas, is not.
While the ultimate goal of Ford v Ferrari might be the battle between the two auto companies, most of the actual film is about the battle between Caroll Shelby with his friend Ken Miles, and the auto company that hired them, but may not completely trust them to do the job. The major antagonist of the film is the character of Leo Beebe, an executive within the Ford Motor Company who was a real person, but not the type of person the movie portrays, according to those who knew him.
In the film, Leo Beebe is never a fan of Shelby or Miles and takes whatever opportunities he has to actively sabotage their chances of winning. That’s not the man that Ed Cloues knew. Cloues served on a board with Beebe and told the Philadelphia Inguirer that Beebe was actually quite the opposite person, somebody who pushed people to be the best.
I’ve dealt with a lot of people in the business world, and there’s nobody I hold in higher regard than Leo Beebe. He was tough, but a gem of a person. I call him a human engineer. He understood how to get the best out of people, and how to motivate people.