Myth & Mogul: John DeLorean (2021)

myth and mogul john delorean poster 2021 documentary netflix
8.0 Overall Score

Decent documentary, long-short format


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The car that was ahead of its time?

The DeLorean…it was a magical car that only became more magical with the release of Back to the Future.  John DeLorean had a dream to make the car and through perseverance, he created an iconic vehicle that fans love despite its flaws…this could be one side of the story.  The other side of the story is of a man who built himself up over the years through shady transactions and money embezzlement.  It is the story of a multimillionaire who finds himself caught in a cocaine bust at an airport hotel…John DeLorean has multiple sides:  myth and mogul.

Myth and Mogul:  John DeLorean is a Netflix Original biopic true crime documentary series directed by Mike Connelly.  The documentary follows the life of John DeLorean (January 6, 1925-March 19, 2005) and the court case that he became embroiled in.  The three part documentary was released on July 30, 2021 and received positive reviews.

myth and mogule john delorean episode 1 making a maverick car commercial

What kid didn’t want this car in the 1980s?

A lot has been written about John DeLorean, the car, and DeLorean’s crimes (or accused crimes).  To me, that didn’t matter as a kid.  The DeLorean was Marty McFly’s time machine and was on the wall of multiple kids of my generation.  With its weird seagull style doors and slick design, the DeLorean was almost like a kid’s imagination of what a cool car would look like…but that doesn’t necessarily make a great car.

The documentary is a rather typical documentary.  The first episode and a half paint a picture of DeLorean.  The series shows him as a businessman who pulled himself up from a rather poor life in Detroit, self-made, and a man of vision and dreams.  He’s portrayed as rather intelligent and not only that but against the corporate stereotype.  He had his finger on the pulse of America and knew how to exploit it.

myth and mogul john delorean episode 3 busted cocaine arrest lie detector

It’s the typical story. One day you’re running GM and the next day you are taking a polygraph about buying drugs at a Ramada airport hotel…

The second half of the documentary is almost a counter to what could be considered the puff piece of the first part of the documentary.  As plans for the DeLorean begin to falter, cracks start showing up in DeLorean and his ideas.  He has problems with the car makers, starts running out of money, has explosive battles all around his base of operation in Belfast due to IRA protests, and the expensive DeLorean is glitchy…this of course leads to a fall.

The documentary then shows that despite a relatively good reputation amongst businessmen, that DeLorean isn’t that different than many of the corporate raiders you hear about.  He worked with thugs, stole ideas, and has a long term embezzlement plan…but in all honestly that isn’t (sadly) too shocking.  You expect that from the spoiled rich.  What is surprising is that DeLorean sinks so low to be busted in an airport hotel arranging cocaine shipment which is a common criminal type crime.  In addition it is heavily implied that the petty DeLorean went as far to try to frame one of his critics with a cocaine bust.  He died an online watch salesman…which is pretty pathetic.

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It will make you believe that a car can fly

The documentary is stylishly put together.  Early in 2021 HBO released The Lady and the Dale which featured another doomed car manufacturer and a similar visual style at points (though the story goes in a wildly different direction).  What Myth and Mogul:  John DeLorean benefits from is that there is a lot of early material due to an attempt to make a documentary about DeLorean by famed documentarians Donn Alan Pennebaker and Chris Hedegus.  It is always good to see/hear footage in its original context.

Myth and Mogul:  John DeLorean is a so-so documentary.  The story is interesting and the telling is quick and smart (I like how the makers dealt with the time-jumps with a scrolling year counter).  The subject however is a rather typical corporate greed story that you feel you’ve heard multiple times.  Greed is good, and DeLorean didn’t seem to directly pay for his crimes.  While the documentary does have faults, it is a shorter format focused documentary and that is part of its saving grace…it is a quick watch.  You might give the show a chance then get Back to the Future.

Myth and Mogul:  John DeLorean—Complete Episode Guide:

myth and mogul john delorean episode 1 making a maverick documentary netflix

“Making a Maverick”

Episode 1        Making a Maverick Release Date:  07/30/21

John DeLorean had vision.  While working for GM he tried to put that vision into the vehicles made by GM and quickly discovered that being a cog in a bigger company meant limitations.  With the fuel crisis looming in the 1970s, DeLorean took the opportunity to set out on his own venture to create the car of his dreams…but creating the car and selling the car means building the car and finding a location to manufacture this dream car could prove challenging.

myth and mogul john delorean episode 2 bombs bullets and bullshit car

“Bombs, Bullets & Bullsh*t”

Episode 2        Bombs, Bullets & Bullsh*t Release Date:  07/30/21

Over budget and facing unrest at the home of his manufacturing plant in Belfast, John DeLorean is finding getting his dream car off and running is more difficult than he expected.  The DeLorean itself is also facing manufacturing problems and that isn’t going over well with the buyers or the sellers…but DeLorean seems to still be spending a lot of money.  When questions about his finances begin to arise, DeLorean will face more than accusations of money embezzlement.

myth and mogul john delorean episode 3 busted cocaine arrest fbi


Episode 3        Busted Release Date:  07/30/21

John DeLorean is arrested with accusations of trying to smuggle cocaine which he claims is to boost the sales of his sagging company.  Now under intense scrutiny, DeLorean’s past and other actions he has taken are revealed…and DeLorean could face his day in court.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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