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Your favorite car movie

carphotocarphoto Posts: 37
edited March 5 in Chevrolet
OK, I decided to start this after watching Driven on DVD the other night. What an absolutely terrible movie! There is nothing good I can say about it. Nothing! So, that started me thinking about other car movies I liked (a little or a lot) and figured I'd through this out to the world and maybe hear of some I haven't seen. I'll throw a couple out for starters.

LeMans - Maybe the best racing movie ever. Thin story, great racing and camera work. The in car scene driving into the rain squall raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

Grand Prix - Also maybe the best racing movie ever made, even if they did use dressed up F3 cars.

American Grafitti - an all-around great car movie, great cars, great actors, great music.

The Italian Job - Watch it and you'll have to get a Mini. I also like the mafia types driving Fiat Dinos and the Italian cops in their Alfa Berlinas. Throw in the Miura, the Aston and the Jag and Benny Hill and you can't miss. Best if you like quirky British humor.

Genevieve - A British comedy film done in the early '50s about 2 couples driving in the London to Brighton Run who make a side bet and it all gets out of hand. Very successful when it was new, this movie is sometimes credited with starting the vintage car craze in Britain.

The Fast Lady - Another British film about a kind of a nerdy guy who buys a car and learns to drive to impress the daughter of the local nobleman. The car that's foisted off on him by his friend the slimey used car salesman is a Red Label Bentley. There is a great dream sequence where he drives the Bentley in the British Grand Prix and beats Graham Hill.

The Lively Set - James Darrin and Doug McLure. Lots of hot rods and a race sequence with Darrin driving a Chrysler Turbine.

The Big Wheel - Mickey Rooney is the son of a driver killed at Indy. Great dirt track and Indy footage. I really like the scenes in the garage where they work on the race cars. Killer iron.

I could list 10 more easily but I'll let other people chime in.


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847
    Okay, it's more horror than car, but there's a lot of mayhem in it with vehicles (mainly big rigs) getting a mind of their own and killing people! It's an awful movie full of plot holes and inconsistencies, but for some strange reason I still love it!

    One thing I never understood though, was that the movie was about machines taking over the world. Well how come, then, the cars never really joined in on the fun? For instance, there's these two obnoxious newlyweds in a 1980 Malibu that get chased all over the place by various rigs, and ultimately get flipped over by one. What I wanna know though, is how come the Malibu never tried to kill them?! I know, because it was in the script ;-)

    I've got a few others I like, but I figured I'd just throw this one up for starters...
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    AKA "A Man and A Woman" some pretty good stuff about racing GT-40s @LeMans as a background to the somewhat sappy love story. The male is played by Jean-Louis Trintingant who is related
    (cousin) to GP driver Maurice Trintingant.
    Not really a great car movie but just enough car stuff to make it worth taking your GF to see.
    IMO "LeMans" is the best car movie ever. I like most of the others mentioned in Post #1 but he left out McQueen's other great car movie "Bulitt"

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I've got this great book called "Road Movies"--"The Complete Guide to Cinema on Wheels".

    How about Marianne Faithful in "Girl on a Motorcycle"? She says things like "My black motorcycle devil makes love beautifully". It's very very silly.

    Or how about "Eat my Dust", the most interesting part of which is that the highly attractive teenage vamp Darlene is played by an actor named Christopher Norris, or so say the credits.


  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    I was about to make a post detailing my two favorite car movies, when I decided instead to do it in the form of a trivia question. Each of these movies has a particular "star" vehicle. The license plates of the vehicles in the movies are as follows:

    1) OFP-857
    2) BDR-529

    Can anyone name the movies and the cars? Don't cheat and look them up online :-)

    -Andrew L
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Sorry, Andrew, don't know.

    The first great car movie I saw was Thunder Road. Directed by Robert Mitchum, who also starred in it. Lots of late '50s teen-age angst and some good bootlegger-revenuer chase scenes.

    The early Bond movies had some good chase scenes. These were more-or-less faithful to the Ian Fleming novels, which have some good writing about cars. There's the chase in the first novel, Casino Royale, between Bond's blower Bentley and the bad buy's Traction Avant. There's a chapter in Diamonds Are Forever called "Studillac to Saratoga" in which Bond finds out what a Cadillac-powered Loewy coupe can do (eighty in second!).

    BTW I'm proud to say that I remember watching the first episodes of My Mother The Car and Car 54 Where Are You? For those of you under forty these were early experiments in trash TV. Now they'd win an Emmy.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Compared to what you see on Fox, "My Mother The Car" is DEEP.


  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    No one has mentioned "Smokey & The Bandit."

    Then again, we've got a cowboy in a sportscar with a pretty girl, an 18-wheeler full of bootleg beer, a floppy-eared dog, and a bad-guy sherriff way out of his Jurisdiction. Sounds like it would be more popular in Dixie than other parts of the country. (It also sounds like a "Dukes of Hazzard" episode)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847 one of my favorites. I have it on tape somewhere, from when it came on tv years ago. It was hysterical because the local station that aired it (I think it was our 54, back before we had cable), aired it un-censored! I don't know how that got past the censors back then, although it's probably pretty tame by today's standards.

    I guess "Smokey and the Bandit" is out on DVD by now. I also have to confess to having part II and III on tape too. Those two suck in comparison, although it's kinda funny in the finale of part II, seeing all those brand new LeManses magically turn into old Mopars, Pontiacs, and AMC products when they get wrecked!
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    OK, I guess nobody's going to take a stab at my license plate question, so here are the answers:



    They are, of course, Herbie (1966 VW Beetle) from The Love Bug, and the Bluesmobile (1974 Dodge Monaco) from The Blues Brothers. Nothing can top those two for being good car movies and just good movies in general. Smokey and the Bandit and the rest of the 1970s car-chase genre are fun to watch once in awhile, but to me they don't have a whole lot of redeeming values other than the car chases. Aykroyd and Belushi make The Blues Brothers so much funnier than it would be if it were just a traditional car-chase movie.

    -Andrew L

  • My personal favorite. Saw it again on Speedvision recently.

    The 55 Chevy in this movie was also used in American Graffitti.

    James Taylor and Dennis Wilson proved that as actors, they really made good musicians.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Yeah, that was a good one. The bad guy drove a '70 Judge. I remember him saying "I ain't got no time for no sidetrips", which I've pretty much adopted as my own personal mission statement--a guy could do worse.

    I saw Bullitt when it first came out in the theatres and I'll tell you that watching it on TV doesn't do it justice. The engines revving, the long smokey burnouts, the cars bottoming as they slammed down the hills--and heck, that was just us on our way to the theatre ;-).

    Gone In 60 Seconds was outstanding too. A little bleak at the end, where he slams into the roadblock at full speed, but outstanding. "This is California, and we don't call them suckers."
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    Thanks for remembering "Thunder Road" one of my all time favorite movies. I saw it at the drive -in ca. '54 or '55. I once built a plastic model
    of Mitchum's Ford, complete with 'shine-tank and oil dispenser in the trunk.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847
    Never saw the movie, but my uncle has a song called "Thunder Road" on album somewhere. I'm not talking the Springsteen song, but this was an old song, kind of a country tune, about a mountain boy who smuggled moonshine. I'm guessing it was based on the movie?
  • carphotocarphoto Posts: 37
    OK, I started it off. i left out a lot of good movies so people could jump in. Here's some more,

    Vanishing Point - Anti-hero Kowalski in his Dodge Challenger. I saw it 3 times in the theaters when I was in high school. I still like Challengers.

    The Love Bug movies - not so much for Herbie but for all the other cars in the background. Apollos, Jags.

    Several Elvis movies - Spinout where Elvis races a 427 Cobra and tows it with an SJ Duesenberg. The love interest drives a Ferrari 250 California into a river in the beginning. It was a TR4 that actually got wet. Viva Las Vegas with Ann Margaret in a TR3 and Elvis stuffing an Offy into his Elva (?) to win the big race.

    On The Beach - a depressing movie about a bunch of people in Australia waiting for the radiation fallout from a nuclear war to kill them. Fred Astaire drives a Ferrari 750 Monza in a sports car grand prix where everyone seems to be trying to kill themselves. The race sequence was shot at both Paramount Ranch and the newly opened Riverside. In a few scenes there is a black sports car behind Astaire, trivia alert!!!, it is a Buick powered Swallow Doretti driven by Max Balchowsky. Fred wins the race and then locks himself in the garage with the Ferrari, starts the engine and lets the CO do him in.

    Red Line 7000 - A really bad stock car racing movie from the mid 60's. Opening scene is cute girl picks up cute guy and gives him a ride to town because he put his COBRA DAYTONA COUPE! in a ditch avoiding a stray dog.

    License plate trivia - THX 138 anyone, anyone, Beuller?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847
    I'm sure it's a reference to THX-1138, which was George Lucas's first movie. I think it actually came from his phone number or something like that!

    I KNOW I've seen a car somewhere on tv with THX-138 on it though! Just can't place it. However, years ago, on "Dennis the Menace" (the '80 cartoon, NOT the tv show), I remember there was a delivery van that had "THX-138" for the license plate. I just happen to remember it because I had seen the movie right around that time, so it stuck in my mind!
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    Two of my favorite car movies are Hard Charger, about Junior Johnson, and Tucker, about Preston Tucker. Both of these star Jeff Bridges, who I feel is very entertaining.
  • carphotocarphoto Posts: 37
    You are on the right track with George Lucas and the THX 138 license plate. I'll add another clue, yellow. I have the Thunder Road song you remember on an album of car songs. It's sung by Robert Mitchum, who starred in the movie Thunder Road. I've got to get that album transfered to CD.

    One more word..... Gumball!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    in American Grafitti and it was indeed a reference to THX-1138, Lucas' first movie.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    .......does anyone remember this? I remember seeing it on TV when I was quite young (mid to late-70s), but I don't know if this was a studio release or just a bad made-for-TV thing.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847
    I remember one of the cars was a '58 Ford. I'm sure there were plenty of other interesting cars that sacrificed themselves for that movie, but for some reason I just remember the Ford! I think it was made by the same people that did the movie where Eddie Albert crashed a passenger jet in the Everglades. Both movies started off with a crash, then backtracked to the events and lives of the people involved, then ended by showing stock footage of the crash again.
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