14 Great Car Chases


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Car chases have been a part of cinema since the early days.

Once filmmakers worked out that something moving – and moving fast – is exciting to watch, they began putting in chases of all kinds.

After all, it isn’t called a motion picture for nothing.

So here are some iconic car chases.

Bullitt

The greatest car chase in the history of cinema. It builds up slowly, ratcheting the tension, the great jazz score keeping pace as we see Steve McQueen being followed by a couple of hoods around the streets of San Francisco, before he flips the script and starts following them.

After more than three minutes of build-up, the music drops, tyres squeal, McQueen and the scene shift gears, and we get this:

 

 

The French Connection

Gene Hackman driving like crazy underneath the El Train. The keys to a great car chase are speed and danger. This is a triumph of stuntwork, editing and sound design.

 

To Live and Die in L.A.

What’s better than an insane car chase on a crowded highway? An insane car chase on a crowded highway going the wrong way.

 

Ronin

Another chaotic scene filmed in close quarters against lots of traffic, this time in Paris.

 

The Italian Job

The film that made Mini Coopers famous.

 

The Bourne Identity

Another Mini.

 

The Bourne Supremacy

Matt Damon causing vehicular chaos again, this time in Moscow.

 

 

The Dark Knight

I am not a huge fan of Christopher Nolan, but by God, does he know how to stage a set-piece.

 

 

Duel

Steven Spielberg’s debut is a masterclass in suspense.

 

The Blues Brothers

This is social commentary on rampant consumerism, right?

 

Death Proof

Quentin Tarantino wrote the script specially for stuntwoman Zoe Bell. Otherwise a forgettable film in his body of work, but this long chase scene is amazing.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road

The whole film is one long car chase. And it’s fucking awesome.

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7 thoughts on “14 Great Car Chases

  1. A great selection, Niall. Bullitt always gets my vote as the best, because it was the first one I can recall being really excited about. (And the bad guys’ car is one of my favourites…)
    I reckon it became the standard for all others to try to emulate, and rarely succeed in doing so.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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