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The top 5 Hollywood car chases of all time
There’s nothing like an all action film with a heart-racing car chase scene to get the blood pumping through our veins. We took a straw poll from movie fanatics and selected the top 5 car chases of all time. And it seems like they don't make them like they used to, with the exception of one on our list, most date back to the 1960's and 70's.
Number 1: Bullit
Drawn top in most "favourite car chase" polls, this 1968 Steven McQueen classic is heralded as the blueprint for all subsequent movie car chases. The mountainous slopes of San Francisco play host to the genre-defining car chase where we see hubcaps flying off, rubber burning and countless near misses, both with regard to traffic and then, later on, some shotgun blasts as well. McQueen in his iconic Ford Mustang gives us a first person view of hurtling top speed down the tram lined hills causing us to flinch each time he takes a corner too sharply. After 10 minutes of Bullitt ducking gunshots at his steering wheel, the pursuit ends with the hitmen careering into a petrol station before being engulfed by a fireball.
Number 2: Gone in 60 seconds
The remake in 2000, starring Nicolas Cage, didn't quite cut the mustard. It's the 1974 version starring the director (and chief stunt driver) HB Halicki which we all love. In this film we see a car chase sequence that lasts almost 40 minutes, a '73 Ford Mustang flying 30ft into the air and just under 100 cars destroyed. It's been heralded as a technical feat and one of the most expensive scenes created in its time. Halicki's film is centred around the chase and has been described as the most crowd-pleasing in cinema history. Sadly, the talented director died in a stunt for the sequel a few years later.
Number 3: Ronin
The realism of the car chases in this iconic flick are heightened by the director employing Formula One pilots as stunt drivers. We see cars such as the Audi S8, BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz 6.9 tearing around the narrow Parisian streets with seemingly little regard for other vehicles or, indeed, other people. The incredible sense of speed and the precarious nature of the roads intensify our viewing. There are several spectacular chases in this heist thriller, but for sheer knuckle-whitening realism, the tunnel-based, pile-up-laden pursuit of Deirdre through Paris takes first prize.
Number 4: The French Connection
This Oscar winning film's prime chase is between a Pontiac LeMans (helmed by Gene Hackman) and an elevated subway train in Brooklyn. Director William Friedkin makes it look easy, occasionally showing Hackman flying through opposing traffic underneath the elevated train in a single frame. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture, and also helped propel Gene Hackman to worldwide fame. The car chase at the heart of this film has been described as the most unconventional and iconic chase sequences ever filmed and was featured in the video game Driver.
Number 5: The Bourne Identity
While all our other reckless drivers and high octane chases on this list require high-end supercars for their get-away vehicle, Matt Damon’s character, Bourne, the super-spy, causes carnage in a Mini Cooper. We see Bourne hurtling down stairways, taking advantage of the Mini Cooper’s small size to run rings around his pursuers, mounting the curb and barely avoiding pedestrians as he does so. The best moment arguably comes when a motorcycle-riding cop isn’t looking where he’s going and hits a car, catapulting himself into the stratosphere as Bourne is free to get away.
RUSH New film about the 1976 F1 racing season
Rush is a biographical action film directed by Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan about the 1976 Formula One season and the rivalry between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. It stars Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda. The film premiered in London on September 2, 2013, was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and was first released theatrically on September 13, 2013.
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