There is a plethora of great movies with car chases as central to the movie and better than Getaway, out in theaters this weekend. Cinema Siren suggests you stay home and watch one of these greats instead:
1. Bullitt-(1968) First and foremost, as exciting and beautifully shot car chase flicks go, this is essential viewing. Steve McQueen oozes sex appeal and testosterone in this classic slice of 60s cinematic grit. Riveting from beginning to end, it reminds the world why McQueen is still lauded and emulated for his method acting style and ultra-cool demeanor.
2. The French Connection-(1971) There is no one tougher, no policeman more memorable in cinema, than Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle. William Friedkin created a car chase that makes people visit the site of the filming. Warning: It will make your heart race. Strong ticker required.
3. Ronin-(1998) De Niro, Jean Reno and director Frankenheimer team up for a violent and engrossing story about outcasts for hire, and has a crazy number of great supporting actors from Stellan Skarsgard and Sean Bean to Jonathan Pryce. Lots of close up shots in the car chases make it as fascinating as it is exciting.
4. Mad Max-(1979) Car chases placed in an Australian apocalyptic wasteland starring leathered Mel Gibson as an antihero you will root for, from back when the moviegoing world liked him. A cult classic car chase extravaganza on a super low budget.
5. Duel-(1971) To some this first full length feature film directed by Steven Spielberg is the very best TV movie ever made. Written by Richard Matheson, some poor guy gets tormented on the road by a psycho in a tanker truck. The tagline is "Fear is the driving force" is perfect. Terrifying.
6. Blues Brothers-(1980) John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood must save the Catholic home in which they were raised. Playing blues, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, and car chases are all part of the insanity. What sounds like a cinematic disaster is actually great fun.
7. Vanishing Point-(1971) Another cult hit, director Sarafian's story of an ex-cop chasing the clock to deliver a Dodge Challenger while outrunning police and highway patrol is the quintessential crazy celebration of 70s counterculture, naked girl on motorbike included.
8. The Italian Job-(1969) Michael Caine and his accent should get separate billing in this heist flick, which includes the fabled mini-cooper car chase scenes, sensations Noel Coward and Benny Hill, and the beauty of Italia.
9. The Sugarland Express -(1974) Spielberg adds to his car chase cred directing a young hot Goldie Hawn as Lou-Jean, who ill-advisedly brings her family together by springing her husband from prison, kidnapping their child, and taking it on the lamb. This true story shows them trying to outrun a whole state's worth of cops.
10. Gone in 60 Seconds-(1974) There is a reason this cult film, written, directed, and starred in by H.B. Halicki, was remade in 2000. Some still consider the car chase lasting over half an hour in Long Beach to rank among the best in film history. The 1973 Ford Mustang named "Eleanor" and other gorgeous 70s models on view are a bonus to the excitement, with more crashes than you can likely count.
- Wanted (2008) It may not be all car chase, but viewers will never forget James McAvoy flipping a car in slow motion, or when Angelina Jolie puts him in the passenger seat while still at high speed. Arguably Bekmambetov's best US release shows there is always room for a well shot well placed car chase in any action flick.