Coming up with a ‘Top 5’ list of anything is always going to be subjective. One man’s meat is another man’s poison as the saying goes. A list of the top the ‘Top 5 Car Chase Movies’ is guaranteed to be polarising. While there are dozens of movies that contain car chase scenes, there are certain movies out there that have almost created their own sub-genre. These movies have achieved cult status amongst car enthusiasts and movie buffs alike. So without further ado, here’s a list of the ‘Top 5 Car Chase Movies’. Let the fun begin!
The Blues Brothers (1980)
It’s the movie that defined cool for a whole generation and showed us how to turn a multitude of police cars into scrap metal in style. Dan Akroyd and John Belushi cared little as they roared through the streets of Chicago leaving 103 vehicles destroyed in their wake. Doing all this in a pair of classic wayfarer shades to a soundtrack of James Brown, Ray Charles and Cab Calloway (they didn’t call it the blues brothers for nothing!) didn’t hurt its chances of making it to the list.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Who can forget a young Mel Gibson blasting through the red desert in that monstrous Falcon XB GT Coupe, affectionately known as the “V8 Interceptor.” The film put Australia on the Hollywood map and with a 4 million dollar budget it was the highest amount spent on any Australian movie at the time! The film peaks with an unforgettable chase lasting 20 minutes that features mohawked motorbike riders, a full loaded semi-trailer and a plethora of re imagined post-apocalyptic muscle cars all trying to disrupt one seemingly unconquerable Aussie Icon.
French Connection (1971)
Set in the gritty drug fuelled underworld of New York City, this Academy award winning film (5 to be exact) is known for having one of the most remarkable and intense car chase scenes of all time. Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider play two narcotic detectives who stumble across a 32 million dollar incoming shipment of heroin from France. This leads them to take on the challenge of chasing down a high rise passenger train through the busy and overcrowded streets of the city setting a new standard for car chases and cinematography alike.
The Italian Job (1969)
We all remember the classic movie length advertisement for the Mini Cooper. The iconic British hatch showed its strength in one of the most innovative and imaginative chase scenes to hit the big screen. One of the most nail – bitting moments was when the trio of mini’s went full steam and jumped between two buildings. Although the scene was smooth and portrayed with ease, the stunt was incredibly dangerous with the cars needing to clear a 60 foot gap! Without the help of modern day special effects, this was truly the era of great driving and fearless stuntmen.
What car chase list isn’t complete without this one? Steve McQueen and his legendary 1968 fastback are touted with providing us with arguably the most memorable car chase ever. Having a high powered mustang chase a charger through the elevated streets of San Francisco was a muscle car lover’s dream come true. With more jumps, near misses and tyre shredding than you can shake a stick at; this film was one of the first to perfect the car chase.
When it comes to movies, there is nothing an enthusiast likes more than a good old fashion car chase. Whether it’s a display of tight and technical driving, the huge pile-ups or breath taking aerial stunts, we are easily entertained. And in the famous words of many pre film safety messages; please do not try this at home.