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Your favorite car movie

carphotocarphoto Posts: 37
edited March 2014 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: 23,036
    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: 18,575
    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: 57,334
    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.

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  • 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: 57,334
    Compared to what you see on Fox, "My Mother The Car" is DEEP.

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  • 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: 23,036 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: 18,575
    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: 23,036
    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: 23,036
    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: 18,575
    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: 23,036
    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.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,036
    "Smash up on Interstate 5" was made in 1976, and was made for tv. Here's a link, Geoff, that'll probably tell you more than you'll ever want to know about that movie!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I think I mis-identifed Vanishing Point as Gone In 60 Seconds. Is Vanishing Point where the hero is paid to drive a hemi Challenger across country? Where are the jobs like that now?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,036
    yup, Vanishing Point is the one with the Challenger. Interestingly, the stand-in car that they wrecked at the very end was a 1969 Camaro! I guess even back then, these Mopars were starting to garner some respect, even among film makers. Yeah, yeah, I know, the real reason was probably that they couldn't afford to wreck a REAL Challenger, so they substituted a beater Camaro with a blown engine!
  • carphotocarphoto Posts: 37
    Another whole ball 'o wax.

    Duel - Spielberg's first movie. Dennis Weaver as a Casper Milktoast salesman in his Dart (or was it a Duster?) stalked by the faceless 18 wheeler. Great movie!

    The Kalifornia Kid - Before he was president, Martin Sheen confronted psycho cop Vic Morrow and his hopped up 58 Plymouth cruiser. Sheen's ride was one of the nicest (IMHO) deuce coupes ever, chopped and flamed just right. I've read that this movie helped reignite the popularity of hot rodding.

    The Challengers - Another movie of the week with Darren Mcgavin as a Grand Prix driver. I haven't seen this in 25 years and can't remember how good (or bad) it was.

    Here's another word..... Rendevous
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,036
    Dennis Weaver's car was a 1970 (maybe a '71) Plymouth Valiant sedan. I think it might've been the upper level model (Signet?) because the seats looked a bit nicer than your run-of-the-mill Valiants of the time. I think "Duel" is actually one of my favorite movies of all time, and the strange thing about it is that, if you watch it today, it doesn't look outdated like how some movies do. Sure, maybe Dennis Weaver could use a more modern hair cut, and those shoes have got to go, but the film just looks crisp and clear, like it was filmed just yesterday. A lot of old '70's movies get that washed-out look, like "Planet of the Apes" and "Logan's Run", or just have too much garish '70's color!


    About 10 years ago, I was in California for Spring Break, and just riding around, happened to stumble upon some of the roads they used to film "Duel" (along with episodes of Charilie's Angels, CHiPs, etc. It was actually kinda spooky the way it happened, because I was just riding around, and all of a sudden, it's like I knew what was around every corner!

    Oh yeah, and as a "stupid souvenir", there was a sign in the movie that said "Private RR Crossing, No trespassing", that was at the entrance to a junkyard on the other side of the railroad tracks. That sign was still there, although the junkyard was long gone. I actually went so far as to park my rental car in some of the same spots that Dennis Weaver's Valiant was in, and took some pics! I'll have to post them sometime, if I can find them.

    And yes, sometimes I even scare myself ;-)
  • phillipmphillipm Posts: 32
    I don't think anyone has mentioned "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" or "Hollywood Knights". Both of these offer some great automobile(primarily muscle cars) scenes.
  • carphotocarphoto Posts: 37
    I didn't realize that the Valiant name lasted that long. That was a great movie and still is. Yea, I know where they filmed it also and all those other shows north of LA. They filmed Adam 12 all around where I grew up. Another show I still like to watch. Most of the street names they used were real, but never intersected! Ther are scenes where the camera will show the black and white going down the street and turning a corner and then they cut to a different shot of the car going down the street that they supposedly just turned onto. Only problem was the two streets were actually miles apart! But its only something a local would know.

    OK, two more movies, well a movie and a short.

    Gumball Rally - The real movie about the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Run, not those pieces of trash with Burt Reynolds. 427 Cobra, Ferrari Daytona Spyder, E-type Jag. Great scenes, at the start from New York the Daytona goes screaming down an empty a Manhattan boulevard, V12 sounds echoing off the buildings, past two street cops. One cop turns to the other and says "It's gonna be a lovely' day."

    Later, Raul Julia who plays an italian GP driver hired to drive the Daytona is being chased by another racer. The co-driver says the guy is cathing up. Julia tears off the rear view mirror, throws it over his shoulder, nails the throttle, and says "In Italy, whats a behind you is not important!" Look for driver John Morton as the passenger in the Jag that won't start at the beginning. "It must be the electrics, maybe they're damp" "But it's damp in England".

    Now, a real cult film. Claude Lelouch who directed A Man and a Woman was a car guy. He made a short film called Rendevous. This film is legendary and as such there are lots of stories around it. One is he used his own Ferrari 275 GTB and drove himself. The other is he used a Matra LeMans car modified with a camera mount just above street level and had a French GP and endurance Jean Pierre Beltoise drive it as fast as possible accross Paris at the crack of dawn. Great stuff, dodging delivery vans, up on the sidewalk on a narrow street, 150+ down a boulevard. At the end the car pulls to a stop just as a young lovely comes up some stairs. You hear the driver's door open and see them embrace. Rendevous! The whole thing is one continuous take, no cuts.

    It's available on VHS for $49.99 (yikes) and it's like 12 minutes long.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,036 on "The Dukes of Hazzard", where they'd splice scenes together and sometimes the General Lee would go into a jump as a '69 Charger, be seen flying through mid-air as a '70, and then land as a '68? ;-)

    I know Adam 12 ran for a long time. They started off using '68-69 Satellites, then had early '70's ones, then switched to AMC products at some point. I'm sure that, eventually, they goofed up and spliced the wrong stock footage together from time to time! I just never happened to catch it.

    Here's another little bit of "Duel" trivia. There was an episode of "The Incredible Hulk" that used a bunch of stock footage from "Duel". Only problem was they still needed vehicles for the closeup shots using the actors. The truck actually wasn't a problem, because they still had a truck around that they had used to shoot some additional scenes in 1973 or so to inflate "Duel's" running time for big screen release. For the Valiant though, they found a nasty old greenish one and painted it orange! You can really tell, towards the end, when the Hulk kicks a door off of it, and you can see green paint in the doorjamb area where the orange paint didn't get!

    Also, since Dennis Weaver wore a blue shirt in "Duel", they had to make all the actors in that episode who would end up driving the Valiant wear blue shirts. So Bill Bixby, the lady trucker, and the bad guy the Valiant belonged to all matched! Wish I knew sometimes, why all this trivia stuff sticks in my mind, but more useful info often goes in one ear and out the other!
  • carphotocarphoto Posts: 37
    I don't remember there being any continuity problems with Adam 12. The stuff about the streets you'ld only know if you lived there like I did. The black and whites that were used in Adam 12 were exactly like the ones used by the LAPD at the time down to the last detail. When LAPD went to Matadors, so did Adam 12. Jack Webb was a real stickler for detail. The interior sets of the police station were exact copies of the old North Hollywood station that was just up the street from Universal.

    I don't remember the Duel scenes in the Incredible Hulk but I remember scenes of the Minis from The Italian Job being cut into McGuyver. I think it was even in the opening sequence. They steal scenes like that all the time. There are flying scenes from Top Gun all through JAG.

    I used to drive by a body shop in Van Nuys that had two or three General Lees in it at any one time. They went through Chargers like crazy in that show. I used to love the slo mo jumps where the thing would land and you could see the whole body rippple from one end to the other. John Morton, the driver who won the 2.5 Trans Am championship for Datsun and drove the Nissan GTPs in IMSA was a regular stunt driver on Dukes.
  • timz58timz58 Posts: 44
    Duel; Gumball Rally (Best, loved the guy on the motorcycle); Bullit; Italian Job; American Grafitti; Rebel Without a Cause; Odd little film with Richard Pryor and Jeff Bridges called "Greased Lightning" about a black stock car racer; Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry; Heart like a Wheel; amd Fast and Furious ain't bad for a film about rice grinders.
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