Car chases have become action movie must-have scenes which can make or break the success of a film. Get it wrong and it looks like a worn out cliché, but get it right and it can solidify your film in legend. Some of the classic favourite chase scenes include Steve McQueen’s Bullitt, The Italian Job, The French Connection and pretty much every Bond movie (with special props to The Spy Who Loved Me for involving a motorcycle, a helicopter and a Bond car that is also a submarine).
A good chase scene is tense, adrenaline filled and skilfully executed – and not necessarily a special effects blow out. Legendary car chases such as that in Bullitt came along way before CGI took over our movie screens, but screeching tyres and driver’s view camera angles make Bullitt an exciting ride which has held its place at the top of most car chase countdowns despite the hundreds that have tried to rival it since.
When we’re thinking about the art of the movie car chase it would be remiss not to mention the professional stunt drivers who make these scenes possible in the first place. Notable stunt drivers include Bill Hickman, Bud Ekins and Ben Collins. Many of the most famous and best chase scenes couldn’t have been made without them, not least because it can be beyond the scope of every insurance policy on earth to allow the famous actors in the driving seat. You can compare all you want; there’s no way Daniel Craig is getting insured to drive that Aston Martin like that.
Here are a few awesome chase scenes to get you revved up and ready for action:
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The Blues Brothers (1980)