Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s was rad. Movies had car chases that were unreal. Not saying that today’s movies don’t have great car chases, I’d be lying if I said other wise. As a car chase fan, the Fast and The Furious films have elaborate car chase scenes that are some of the best of all time. For me though, they just come across as a bit off center. Maybe it is the CGI used in some or the cars that they use, but something them just doesn’t give me that same feeling of awe. So I am taking a few minutes to chronicle a few of my favorite car chases scenes in movies (there will a similar post in the future about car chases on TV shows *cough* Street Hawk *cough*).
The Dukes of Hazzard:
What may be the only title to come up on both posts, The Dukes of Hazzard. While the movie got killed in reviews at the time, it was enjoyable to me. It didn’t have cameos from the original cast, which may be my only issue with it. The actors and story worked well and within the original scope of the show. They even addressed the rebel flag on the roof in a comedic way. The car chases were reminiscent of the old show. I loved the final car chase/race that involved Boss Hogg’s Cadillac taking out race cars and busting through a road block.
The Blues Brothers:
One of my favorite films of all time. Even to this day, the Blues Brothers movie sets my imagination on fire. Singing, dancing, comedy and, yeah, car chases. The movie is loaded with them. The final car chase involved more cars than any other car chase ever. The camera work, the timing, the stunts, all looked perfect. If I remember correctly, that last chase put the movie over budget. I don’t know how true that can be but I can see why.
Smokey and the Bandit II
Man I love these movies. I am from Brooklyn but something about the Bandit character just resonated with me. Maybe it was his attitude, or his jacket, or his need to show off or maybe it was just the car. Till this day, a black Trans Am is my dream car. Toss in one my all time ideals, Jackie Gleason and who can I not love this? Smokey and The Bandit II has a great final chase scene. Justice and his brothers, along with their police car swarms take on The Bandit in the desert. Once Bo realizes that his in over his head, he calls The Snowman for a little help. What happens next is pure car chase fan magic.
The French Connection:
Popeye Doyle. The last great American hero. The guy was street smart and tough as nails. He had a great hat too. I think Gene Hackman wears the same hat in the Replacements but I could be wrong. Well, that doesn’t matter right now though. What does matter is the fact that this movie, based on NYPD detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso features one of if not THE greatest car scene chase in cinema history. And I am not just saying that because it was filmed in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. Really? Not the chase scene from Bad Boys 2 on top of the shanty towns of Cuba? No. Not the car chases from Smokey and The Bandit 1? Nope. Not even the car chase scene from Running Scared on the train tracks? No. Do know why? Well, I will tell you, just wait a minute. Because all of those chase scenes were influenced by this car chase. Because he is driving a regular car and not a supped up sports car. Because he is chasing a train!
I left off a few in hopes that it will spark some conversation. What do you think are some of the best movie car chase scenes? I’d like to know.