Why do we love car chases in our movies? The visuals, the drama, and the automotive innovation make car chases a key component of action movies. Dialogue is not necessary. The story is told purely through images and sounds. The cinematic chases of today can rely too heavily on CGI and an increasingly formulaic approach. However, the past movies relied on pure talent to convey their theatrics. Here are our favorite car chases that Hollywood has to offer.
Director John Frankenheimer, a former amateur race car driver, brought his love of cars to the cinema through this spy thriller. With numerous phenomenal chase scenes, it is hard to pick a favorite. Frankenheimer relies solely on the talent of over 300 stunt drivers in the absence of CGI and camera tricks. It feels like spies Robert De Niro and Jean Reno are going fast because they traveled at 120 miles an hour. Their facial expressions of fear were authentic, with cameras mounted on the car bonnets.
Considered the first modern-day car chase movie and the coolest, Bullitt set the standard for every car chase scene like it in the future. Pianist Lalo Shifrin sets up the stage with a score that builds suspense as the hitmen (Bill Hickman and Paul Genge) realize that Detective Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) is following them. As the chase ensues, the music cuts out as tire squeals and engine noise come in. Despite continuity in the scenes, it is a thrilling chase and remains one to beat. Steven Spielberg is working on a remake and has his work cut out for him.
The French Connection (1971)
After narrowly escaping an assassination attempt, “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) chases hitman Pierre (Marcel Bozzuffi). He chases after a speeding L train in the grittiest, most intense car chase of all time. He floors it to numerous train stops, almost hitting a pedestrian woman with a stroller, before finally catching up to the killer to kill him. Filmmaker William Friedkin was unhappy with stunt driver Bill Hickman’s first performance. Upon Hickman’s request, Friedkin filmed the scene from the dashboard as he drove through 26 blocks at 90 miles an hour. Because they shot this without the required permits, they spilled out into actual traffic and got into a collision which stayed in the movie. Because of the filming from inside the vehicle, you can feel how emotional and exhausting the scene is, giving it the top spot on our list.
While these movies make car chases look glamorous and manageable, they can cause severe damage in the real world. Performance Collision Centers is here to help if you are in trouble- no problem, too small! Our Gold Class Certified technicians are ready to get you back on the road quickly. Use our free estimate tool to get your estimate today!