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Hooniverse Asks – What’s Your Favorite Movie With Cars, That’s Not a Car Movie?

Robert Emslie November 29, 2010 Hooniverse Asks 57 Comments

Do you remember the film Rainman? Sure you do, but what do you remember more- the plot, or the Ferrari 400i, and 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible? That movie also featured a Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Elite, and Ferrari 365 GTS, oh yeah, and a guy named Tom. That’s one non-car movie that’s plum full of cool iron, but is it your favorite?

Godard’s Week End contains one of the most famous extended tracking shots in cinema history, and some ’60s cargasm imagery, including a Facel Vega Facellia, and a pair of children making good use of the sunroofs on both a Peugeot 404 and a Citroën 2CV. As the era of cinema has roughly paralleled that of the automobile, it’s not surprising that cars and trucks have played significant roles in many films, even those where they weren’t the stars.

Can you imagine a Keystone Kops silent without a Flivver, or overburdened paddy wagon? What about the Italian Job without Minis? And of course that same Tom who starred in Rainman also made a film a few years earlier in which a Porsche allowed for the knee-slapper ‘who’s the u-boat captain?’ There’s so many great cars that have made movie history, which film stands out to you as having either the best collection, or the most emblematic use of a car in a non-car film? And no, Herbie Goes Bananas doesn’t count.

Image sources: [entertainmentwallpaper.com, dvdbeaver.com]

  • packratmatt

    Repo Man made an ordinary Chevy look pretty cool. And, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was full of cars that look pretty cool now.

    • Right off the bat, you mentioned two of my favorite movies. Good call.

  • Feds_II

    Low hanging fruit, but:

    < Cockney > This is the self preservation society.. the self preservation society </cockney>

    <img src="http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/6342/van0129142oq.jpg&quot; width=500>

    • Stelios

      I was thinking the same!

  • Road Games with Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis. Not really a car movie, but set on the road.

  • Dazed and Confused was a pretty good film with some awesome cars. Probably my favorite non-car movie with some great cars.

    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qNqxDdDgu6Q/TBFT_TIiMII/AAAAAAAAAjA/0307s0vG46s/s400/70s-dazed-and-confused-car.jpg?ei=fMXzTIOGHIX7lwej4JH9DA"&gt;

    • acarr260

      I came here to point out this movie… one of my favorites.
      An awesome car guy exchange from the film:
      Wooderson – Let me tell you what Melba Toast is packin’ right here, alright. We got 411 Positrac outback, 750 double pumper Edelbrock intakes, bored over .30, 11 to 1 pop-up pistons, turbo-jet 390 horsepower. We’re talkin’ some fuckin’ muscle.
      Clint – Hey man, I know you got this thing out of a comic book. I saw the add $2.95 it was right next to the sea monkeys. Do you see that over there that’s white lighting, see the shoes on that thing, you have to get some tires on that thing, there pizza cutters

  • Maxichamp

    Humain, Trop Humain.

  • IronBallsMcG

    With Mr. Statham at the top of the page, I have to say The Transporter series.

  • P161911

    Does Ronin count as a non-car movie?

    • scroggzilla

      I think so.

  • OA5599

    How about the 1997 Alicia Silverstone vehicle (pun intended), Excess Baggage?

    <img src="http://www.imcdb.org/i021195.jpg"&gt;

  • Matt

    The driving scene in "Scent of a Woman" is pretty awesome. I'm a sucker for Ferraris.

  • scroggzilla

    I have to recommend the 1964 version of The Killers, directed by Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and starring Lee Marvin, Clu Gulager, Angie Dickenson, John Cassavetes, Claude Akins, Norman Fell and, in his final film performance and only screen appearence as a heavy, Ronald Reagan. The movie may be about bank heists, double crosses and contract killers, but there's some car-tastic stuff in there too.
    [youtube q92KrKaoBuY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q92KrKaoBuY youtube]

  • Grimace

    I have to put in a second vote for Ronin, Classic e34 M5 chasing an S8, and the get away at the beginning with the S8 racing around in the wet at night, ahhh I need to move to Europe.

  • BGW

    This wasn't a car movie but it was a car movie.

    <img src="http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/5050/slasherboxcoverposter.jpg"&gt;

    • JayP

      I gotta see this one.
      I grew up on "Used Cars" and loved "The Goods". A local guy's Trans Am was in that movie…

  • Number_Six

    It's too broad a category to do any justice. But today it's cold and snowy here and I might as well be in Russia, so I am going with Gorky Park. It's got a whole load of awesome, including: Brian Dennehy; a smoking hot nude Joanna Pacula; and tons of Soviet iron. GAZ, Lada, VAZ, a Moskvitch pickup, and this odd-looking steamroller:
    <img src="http://www.imcdb.org/i187380.jpg&quot; />
    Thanks imcdb.org

  • zsm
    • vwminispeedster

      Gotta love those bullet proof Citroen DS sedans.

      • scroggzilla

        and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta spyder

  • RichardKopf

    The North Avenue Irregulars. It's an old Disney movie from `79, so it's cheesy, but there's so many cars in it, including a demolition derby with street cars at the end.

    • MrHowser

      Heh, my favorite is the '59 Caddy that won't start.

  • Risky Business is near the top of my list, "…Who's the U-Boat commander?"

    I always used to enjoy Weird Science, for the idea of a teenager being able to magic themselves a 928S and a Mondial (yeah, I know, why a bloody Mondial?), also, boobies.

    Michael Jacksons Moonwalker was pretty dire if taken as anything other than a long promo video, but it did have some nice Bertone Stratos pron in it, complete with dubious overdubbed V8 soundtrack.

  • Back to the Future II. Future concepts, 50's classics, and of course, the Delorian.

    Not a car movie, but the whole series is completely tied to it's cars.

    Also, Eegah.

  • marmer

    There's so much low-hanging fruit I feel like I'm trapped in an orchard. The Lemony Snicket movie, with a Tatra T-603 sporting an in-dash reel-to-reel deck (!) and the smashing of a Chrysler Ghia limousine by a freight train.

    Streets of Fire, with Diane Lane, Michael Pare, and among other things cops driving Studebaker Champs and a doo-wop band in an Advance-Design Chevy school bus.

    Blade Runner, with flying cop cars.

    Dick Tracy, with a bunch of cool '30s autos.

    Freebie and the Bean, a forgettable 70's cop movie with a bunch of spectacular trials-bike stunts. Why someone was riding a trials bike on the street is beyond me (other than so it could be commandeered by the hero.)

    Ratatouille, with a Francophile banquet of DS's, Citroen vans, and (I think) a Facel Vega.

    Most Bond movies, in particular the cheesy Live and Let Die and the one in which Bond and a cutie are trying to escape from the bad guys in a Citroen 2CV or similar. "We're being out-horsepowered!"

    And of course, the Blues Brothers movie, with Chicago/Illinois State Police cars past and present.

  • Mmmmm…Jason Statham. He's so dreamy.

  • The Bourne series. There aren't a ton of cars in it, but those that are are pretty fun.

  • Richard

    "THX 1138", George Lucas' first movie, from 1971. Lola T70s versus futuristically-dressed Triumphs through the then-unfinished BART tunnels, plus a cameo by a Ferrari 412P, FTW.
    (FYI – Yes, this is in Italian. It's the only cut from the original '71 version that I could find online. Stay far away from the cartoonish CGI-enhanced "director's cut" on DVD.)

    [youtube vxq_lx1Fdwo&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxq_lx1Fdwo&feature=related youtube]

  • tonyola

    Mr. Hulot's Holiday and that slow, sputtering Amilcar that not even a dog will move for.

  • marmer

    Oh, and of course Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, though it IS strictly speaking a car movie. Born of the Bond movie team's wish to run with Mary Poppins in the American-targeted Edwardian Brit-exotic musical milieu of the time, it is excruciatingly sentimental and cheesy for long stretches. However, the opening black & white "historical racing" footage and celebration of the idea that a car has a soul and that restoring a neglected former race car is a worthy and admirable thing to do can't help but tickle the fancy of any gearhead.

    • tonyola

      I tried watching that movie. It's like chugging a pint of maple syrup – tastes good at first but eventually you begin gagging and going into terminal sugar-shock.

      • OA5599

        Too(t) sweet for you, huh?

  • kah

    they make movies that are NOT about cars?

  • K5ING

    There are too many movies to list, but I just finished watching "Good Neighbor Sam". It was one of my favorite movies from back when I was a kid, and it shows lots of nice late 50's and early 60's cars throughout the movie. The main characters race around town hooning in a then-new 1964 Thunderbird convertible complete with a tall ladder sticking up in the back.

  • Super Troopers was pretty fun, but I think we've caught on that pretty much any cop movie is centered around cars in some way and they end to be bitchin' as well. Case in point Super Troopers features a '71 Ford Galaxie in the intro, then shortly after that a white Miata en route to 'ME-XI-CO!', followed by one of my fave comics, Jim Gaffigan, in an Audi 5000, Farva's red Camaro, and the kinky Germans in the 911. And of course you can't forget the slew of police spec Crown Vics all piled on top.

    <img src="http://imcdb.org/i010167.jpg"&gt;

  • vwminispeedster

    The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob with a DS with a boat on the roof http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2780/4356851503_b7… and a giant Caddy in Paris http://imcdb.org/images/002/918.jpg. I've only seen the movie in French with no subtitles but a translation is not needed. It is hilarious nonetheless.

  • Spencedaddy

    the movie "Faster" that i saw last night was pretty badass…go see it if you have a chance!

  • To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly had a pretty cool mountain drive in a blue Sunbeam Alpine, Serie I convertible. Ironically, later Grace Kelly would be killed in an automobile accident in these same mountains.

    Are the Smokey and the Bandit movies off limits?

    • JayP

      I'll let you have Smokey if you'll allow me Two Lane Blacktop and Vanishing Point.

  • PFG

    My favorite? "Little Miss Sunshine." Anyone who comes away from that film without an enhanced appreciation for the VW Bus has no soul.

  • Slow Joe Crow

    The opening scene of "A New Leaf" features Walter Matthau's character getting yet another tuneup of his Ferrari, after fouling the plugs in Manhattan traffic.

  • JayP

    Just about any movie with Steve McQueen that wasn't a about a war or cowboys.

    • ptschett

      And even some of the ones that are in those categories. (Okay, The Great Escape's hoontastic sequence is a motorcycle chase, but since it's Two Wheel Tuesday somewhere in the world, I think it counts.)

  • Andrew

    American Graffiti. I don't have the first clue what any of the cars in it actually are, but it made me think that I may have been born a half century too late. I wish I could have experienced high school in a time where car culture was all-pervasive.

    • JayP

      Hollwood Knights is a Grafitti rip, but pretty good if you're into hijinks. Tony Nancy was in the movie and built a hotrod for it.

    • marmer

      Good point. Excellent choice and you are exactly right. But I wouldn't admit here that you don't have a clue what the cars are. 😉

      IIRC, the girl is driving her family '58 Chevy, her boyfriend Steve the family Edsel, John Milner a '32 Ford deuce coupe, the gang guys a chopped '49 Mercury, the mystery blonde a '57 T-bird, and Harrison Ford's character a '55 Chevy. But I haven't seen the movie in twenty-something years.

  • Mad_Hungarian

    Tin Men. Especially if you like Cadillacs. Note the other cars in the background and going down the street during this scene as well.[youtube ArdXKLr41ls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArdXKLr41ls youtube]

  • JayP

    You call yourselves "hoons" and forget about Mad Max and Road Warrior?? Especially Road Warrior!!

    • I think most people would call those car movies.

  • JDC

    Mullholland Falls, there are some great classics in there, and they seem to do a great job of letting you hear them. That Buick sounds great just cruising around town.

  • JDC

    Also in that vein; The Two Jakes. That Hudson absolutely stole my heart.

    OK I'm Done!