I hate films that show speeded up footage of some big ego behind a wheel tossing around a big empty city in a car they clearly couldn’t handle. For me the best movie car chase is from Robbery, a sixties Brit flick based on the Great Train Robbery. In one scene police in an S-type Jag chase the villans through London in another Jag. This being the sixties the streets are narrow, packed and very winding. The cars are really thrown around the roads and the camera work really gives the sense that this is bloody dangerous. The culmination of the chase is when the villans see a school crossing and charge it sending the school children flying and leaving the cops far behind. I can’t think of any film that matches it for sheer breath taking thrills (yes I did see The French Connection,) you have to see this.
**The ** original car chase scene (with Steve McQueen) in Bullet, and the ‘homage’ to it in Clint Eastwood’s The Dead Pool where the chasing car was a miniature radio controlled one (yea, I know it couldn’t happen, but it still looked cool)
and I can’t remember which movie had it but there was a great car chase scene featuring Mini cars.
Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. had an amazing freeway car chase. At one point they were driving against traffic and everyone just weaved out of the way, kind of like a normal day.
The car chase from “Bonnie & Clyde” is a classic. The Earl Scruggs banjo music really made that one.
Opening scene from “Lethal Weapon II”. I crack up to this day when I remember Mel Gibson sprawled on the speeding car’s windshield saying to the driver “I’d like to see your driver’s license and proof of insuran - ahhhh!”
I just watched The Seven-Ups starring Roy Scheider, and I have to say that movie had the worst car chase ever. The only good about it was how it ended, with Scheider’s car going under the back end of a parked tractor trailer.
I have to agree with dustMagnate, that To Live and Die in L.A. had one of the best chase scenes. Also good was The Getaway with Steve McQueen.
There was a French movie that featured Jean Reno along with Robert De Niro, and the coolest car chase scenes I remember seeing in any movie…on the narrow streets of left bank Paris.
I don’t remember the name of the movie (one word, meaning a loser guy ex mafia or ex secret service)
Ditto, and not only were they driving the wrong way, but they were driving the against traffic on busy So Cal freeways!
That would be Ronin, and yeah it gets my vote too (it was fantastic on a theatre screen), even though I just recently saw Bullitt and The French Connection.
I’ll have to look for Robbery. Sounds good!
Umm… my last post was in response to Watermelon Man, btw. Shiva slipped in when I wasn’t looking.
In fact, Robbery was directed by Peter Yates, and the chase scene in that film influenced his eventual selection as director of Bullitt.
The film with the Minis is The Italian Job, and lord, do I wish that it were available on DVD.
I will second Ronin and FTR, it was in Nice.
no one has mentioned the opening car chase from Mad Max starring Mel Gibson. It’s way cool and has a car smashing through a caravan…
thanks Rocket for the name of the movie (and for kindly not correcting my spelling on the McQueen movie - I knew it was spelled funny, but my spelling is generally so bad, it all looks funny to me)
BTW - in Mel Gibson movies, I’m generally looking at Mel, and not the cars.
Bit of trivia here: in that same chase, a tiny van gets hit at high speed and goes spinning off the road like a crushed beer can. That was director George Miller’s own vehicle; the limited budget was near exhaustion and the production couldn’t afford to pruchase even a junker for the scene.
And speaking of great chases, duh, (slaps head) how could I have forgotten the last twenty minutes of The Road Warrior, as the Humungus’ hordes batter their vehicles against the side of the fuel truck driven by Mal Gibson’s Max?
Yeah, the Road Warrior, that’s the ticket if you want amazing chase scenes.
Basically anything with Rigs in it is a good bet for me, The Movie Black Dog with Patrick Swayze, Meatloaf, and Randy Travis was a dang bad movie by a damn sight, but the truck chases/wrecks were pretty cool.
I was trying to think of the name of the Steve McQueen movie I watched the other night, it had some great chase scenes in it. I had to read the thread twice before I remembered it was Bullitt.
Duh, on me.
My lot is cast with those who voted for Bullitt and Ronin but another good chase is the original Gone In Sixty Seconds (not the crappy Nicolas Cage version) where the hero’s Mustang, among other things, whizzes through a Cadillac dealership while running from the cops.
Definitely a cool chase, even if the movie was made for about $50 and looks it.
Roger Ebert once commented that the best chase scenes incorporate the essence of the city in whcih they take place. He highlighted The French Connection and New York City, To Live and Die in L.A. and Los Angeles, Bullitt and San Fransisco and I believe Diva and Paris.
Siskel & Ebert Also commented on the excessive usage of Fruit stands in car chases as objects that were smashed into.
So, in one of the “Police Academy” movies, during a bus chase, a fruit stand is demolished that reads “Siskel & Ebert’s Fruit Stand”.
You have to puse it to see it, but it’s there.
I always dug the car chase scene in “The Blues Brothers.”
How about Raising Arizona, with Nicolas Cage being chased on foot and in a car by the cops and a demented convenience store employee with a gun. Too cool!