Thursday, October 20, 2011

Great movie car chases are almost exactly like real life

So yesterday I was wanted by the police for a murder that I didn’t commit. Unfortunately, they had enough so-called evidence to lock me up and throw away the key. The only way I was going to get out from under this was to catch the real killer. I broke out of jail by piling pillows under my covers, then I jumped out from behind the sink when they came into my cell to investigate. I then broke my truck out of the impound yard, and went to work.

Their case was based largely on the testimony of a mousy, unassuming housewife, who claimed to have actually witnessed me shooting her husband. Conveniently, she was just pulling out of her driveway in a mid-‘70s Plymouth when I reached her house. When she saw me coming down the street, the case was on.

There was no time to slow down for turns; both of us were power-sliding with the wheels at complete opposite lock. My left front hubcap flew off three times. She smashed into a baby carriage that was trying to cross the street. Luckily, it was full of aluminum cans. We went through an alley, knocking over empty cardboard boxes and trash cans along the way. When we got back out on the street, she started shooting at me. The chase then veered onto the sidewalk, where pedestrians and innocent people eating at sidewalk cafes barely had enough time to jump out of the way. When she smashed a fruit stand as we went back onto the street, we drew the attention of a policeman, who abandoned the speeder he had pulled over to fall in behind us. Her last bullet hit the windshield, just barely missing my head. When she looked down at the empty gun, she didn’t notice the parked cars along the right shoulder, and upon impacting them, her Plymouth rolled three times.

When the police pulled her out of her smashed car, she was heard saying, “I had to do it. He was going to leave me, and with that prenup, I would have been left with nothing. Killing him was the only way!” The police matched up the gun with which she was shooting at me with the murder weapon. I was charged with reckless driving, jailbreak, and illegal parking. It was all in a day’s work.

If that doesn’t get you in the mood to watch some tire-squealing television and movie car chase action, maybe these will. Click on the videos below for some of the most memorable Hollywood chase scenes ever put to film.

Bullit (1968) - Considered the best movie chase ever by many.  Steve McQueen did a lot of his own driving.  That thing where Bullit appears in the bad guys' rearview mirror gets me every time.  Pretty hard not to like it!

The Blues Brothers (1980) - The Blues Brothers is full of great chases.  The mall scene is one of the best, but they're all pretty good.

American Graffiti (Paradise Road) (1973) - More of a race than a chase, I guess, but still one of the great car movies of all time.  And I still think Milner's coupe is ugly, and Falfa's '55 isn't my favorite either.  Plus, it turns into a real junker after it rolls over.

The Seven-Ups (1973) - Several bias-ply tires were harmed in the making of this film.  This is a loong chase, and similar to Bullit; the cars just aren't as cool.  Stuntman/actor Bill Hickman was driving the bad guy's Pontiac in this movie, just like he was driving the charger in Bullit (this time, with thinner glasses).  Hickman was also in The French Connection, another movie with a great car chase scene, although the chase was against a car and a train, so he didn't get to drive in that one.

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) - Everything about this just looked so dangerous.  Real streets.  Real cars.  Lots of carnage.  The entire movie was a car chase, so this is just an excerpt from the end.

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) - There's some bad words in this one, so be careful.  It's not kid friendly in the least.  Pretty intense car chase, though.  Impala vs. Grand Marquis Battle Roayle.  That's William Peterson from CSI fame.  They even end up down in that drainage culvert where Danny Zuko raced Greased Lightning for a few minutes.

White Lightning (1973) - Burt Reynolds being chased by Ned Beatty.  You bet, it's worth watching!

Thunder Road (1957) - This is a great early car chase movie.  Plus, Robert Mitchum is too cool for his own good.  This is an excerpt from the movie.

Moonrunners (1974) - This is the precursor to the Dukes of Hazzard, so it's kind of fun to look back at this and see where some of the ideas came from for the show.

Cars (2006) - I know it's animated, but how can you not like this?  As the father of a seven-year-old, I've seen this eleventy-billion times.  This is my favorite scene.


  1. no Bond car chases? well, compared to the ones you listed, they're second tier admittedly.

  2. First, the car chase from Bullit was the best ever put to film.
    Second, I think Cars was one of the finest movies made in the last decade. I saw it in the theatre with my teenage boys. Now I watch it with my 2 1/2 year-old twin granddaughters.