Nothing compares to watching a great action movie, especially one with an absolutely epic car chase. When it comes to film to watch that make the car chase an art form, though, you’re talking about some of the most legendary films ever put on celluloid.
It’s hard to explain, but car chases, when done well, put you in the driver’s seat, right at the forefront of the action. You can feel the force of gravity throw you around every corner or the height of the dip as you hit it at top speed. Instinctively, you may even look down at your hand & realize you’re trying to change gears.
This list breaks down seven of the best movies of all-time which happen to include the greatest car chases ever put on film. Some of you may balk at the list, and some of you may even gripe that one movie in particular didn’t make the list, but with a few Academy Awards on the mantle & inclusions for preservation in the National Film Registry, it’s safe to say these movies more than answer the call for car chase masterpieces.
Here they are:
Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – Bell-bottoms, basset hounds, beer, a car chase that lasts the whole movie, and a lot of cop cars out of service – this movie has it all, including a classic theme song.
The Italian Job (1969) – The original version of this movie had some of the most amazing driving ever put on film, and the final cliffhanger scene in and of itself is worth a place on this list (we’re waiting, Michael Caine).
The Seven-Ups (1973) – Before taking on Bruce the shark, Roy Scheider took on criminals, and getting the bad guy was all that mattered, even if you turned your car into a convertible via a tractor-trailer.
Bullitt (1968) – Steve McQueen takes on organized crime in San Francisco, California. The car chase in this movie could make this the only necessary entry on this list, and the movie poster is mandatory in the garage of every car aficionado.
The French Connection (1971) – A heroine smuggling ring connects France and New York City, but it’s the Pontiac LeMans and a man named Popeye chasing an elevated train that makes it legendary.
The Blues Brothers (1980) – Destroying 103 cars during filming and including a car chase inside of a shopping mall make this movie a must-see for any car junkie.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974) – When you need money to buy a race car to go legit, you rob a supermarket, right? This movie is perhaps known for one of the most memorable endings in film.
These films to watch (must watch!) have stood the test of time, but admittedly, there are easily others that were left off that are making car chase fans scream. That said, watch these seven movies to understand their lineage in today’s action movies as their influence practically jumps off the screen.