In the 1978 action triller The Driver, a laconic and mysterious man offers his services to criminals as a getaway driver. He also tries to woo a sultry lady and keep both the cops and the crooks off his back. Wait a minute, that’s the 2011 film Drive. Actually it’s both. If you’ve seen Drive then you might want to also check out the Walter Hill-directed The Driver as not only are they similarly plotted, but they’re both pretty enjoyable films.
The Driver actually has more – you know – driving in it, including an audition for a caper that turns into a parking garage demolition derby. The only down side is that the title character is played by Ryan O’Neal and he’s, well, Ryan O’Neal. It also has Bruce Dern playing the cop that’s trying to nail O’Neal for his criminal activity, and Isabella Adjani as the woman they’re both trying to nail.
Hill knows action, and you’ve probably seen his better-known movies like 48 Hrs, The Warriors, and Red Heat. He also produced Alien so he’s got that going for him. One thing about car movies of the ’70s is that cars back then – especially American iron as used in this flick – tended to handle so poorly that even slow chases became edge of your seat affairs because you never knew if the car would just crash on its own. Check out the noir and the cars right after the jump.
It doesn’t appear that The Driver is available for streaming anywhere at this time.
YouTube does have the full movie for free, but it’s such a dark and muddy version that I don’t recommend watching it. You won’t even be able to tell the Fords from the Plymouths!
Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer
It seems like a hard boiled / film noir sort of movie, but wicked ’70s. Even the opening, in B&W, The Criminal, The Cop, The Femme Fatale! I’m sure it’s awful; when people speak their lines at that TV soap opera pace it means there’s not enough of a script to fill the scenes between car chases.
Also see the 1999 PlayStation game “Driver” which was heavily inspired by the same movie – the first mission you began in a carpark where you had to perform various burnouts, figure 8, hook turn etc. to convince that gangsters that you were the real deal. A lot of the missions in the game were based on movie chases.
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