There really is something special about a movie involving a great car chase that gets your blood pumping and your heart racing. Maybe it’s the talented stunt drivers that makes you feel you’re in danger even though you’re comfortably in your seat. Any good action film will always include an elaborate car chase, many have tried to get it right, and lots do, but there are a some who really nail it. In our opinion, these are some of the greatest movie car chases ever:
1.The Italian Job (1969)
Arguably one of the most iconic car chases of all time sees three Mini Coopers take to the streets of Turin for some incredible manoeuvres that leave the viewers questioning just how they achieved it. The Italian Job deserves inclusion in the top 10, as it features inventive chases through buildings, downstairs and through sewer pipes and even a building-to-building jump from the Fiat factory rooftop test track. We don’t recommend you try this at home with your own Mini. Have you seen the Italian Job? What did you think? We also love the scene with the Lamborghini Miura, which we were lucky enough to see at the London Concours 2019.
2. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
If you’re an avid My Car Heaven follower then you’ll know we’re James Bond fans, we love that when you think of James Bond you immediately think of cars – specifically the Aston Martin DB5, but cars nonetheless. You must watch ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ and appreciate watching an AMC Hornet X cross a river by jumping off one ramp, perform a complete 360-degree barrel roll in midair, land on another ramp and drive off undamaged. Remarkably, the stunt was performed with no CGI, no wires and no miniatures. It was shot with eight cameras and amazingly was pulled off in the first take. Great film, great car and great chase. Which is your favourite James Bond film?
3. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
I love the fast and furious franchise; I know that it’s a controversial subject, but I love the cars and the daring stunts they perform. Perhaps the most ludicrous chase sequence in the series, Brian (Paul Walker) chases Dom (Vin Diesel), the two stop at a streetlight and have a race to a train track with a moving train heading their way. The two jump the track just before the train gets there but Dom ends up hitting a truck that causes his car to flip in the air over Brian’s. Even though this car chase is tame compared to the ones in the later movies, the moment still holds up.
4. Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
The movie plot consists of a drug lord paying ‘Pace’ to steal 48 cars, all but one is in the bag – causing the police to participate in a desperate car chase against Pace and his Eleanor across Southern California. The best part of the movie is that it features a 40-minute chase in which, Director Halicki was proud to brag, almost 100 cars were wrecked.
5. Fast Five (2011)
Probably my favourite of the Fast & Furious franchise, not just because this is the first time we see ‘The Rock’ in these movies but because of the car chase at the end of the film. We could have picked any mind-bending stunt driving sequence from this increasingly insane franchise. But, we’ll choose the final chase at the end of Fast Five, in which the team tow a tank vault and rip up the streets of Rio. Essentially, Brian and Dom steal an enormous vault then drive it through the streets of Rio in matching Dodge Chargers – realistic we know. What makes it truly special is the many ways in which the sequence evolves through little details, from the vault tearing through a line of pylons as soon as it hits the streets to Brian backing his car into the vault to drive backwards for a while.
6. Baby Driver (2017)
We love cars and music which one of the reasons Baby Driver has made our list, the other is it’s a series of incredible car chases formed into a movie, what’s not to love. It’s a hell of a way to open a movie. Baby Driver starts with a rip-roaring six-minute clip of Baby pulling up to pick up his partners is a blazing red Subaru and then driving like an absolute maniac to elude the police. It sets the tone for the best driving movie of 2017.
7. Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
There’s no point in picking a particular scene when this entire movie is one long car chase. Fury Road is Miller’s fourth film in the franchise and arguably the best action movie to come out that year. The film is essentially one long car chase, pausing only occasionally to set up the next big chunk of driving, so it’s hard to pin down just one specific “chase”.
8. The Blues Brothers (1980)
There’s one in Hollywood car chases: wreck as many police cars as possible. And while that may be an old car-chase clichés, director John Landis made it seem fresh back in The Blues Brothers by simply wrecking more cop cruisers than any movie had ever dared. Perhaps considered the most ludicrous chase sequence in movie history, driving mid-1970s Dodge Monacos, the duo run from the Palace Hotel Ballroom with a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, in the dark, wearing sunglasses. Do you remember this film?
9. The Bourne supremacy (2002)
When you think of a car chase, you typically imagine the slickest possible presentation and the coolest possible car. However, this car chase in The Bourne Supremacy goes against those sorts of conventions which we think makes the Moscow chase sequence so effective. Bourne flees his pursuers in a beat-up taxi cab while nursing a shoulder wound. Matt Damon completely demolishes a Moscow cab in this Jason Bourne movie. Racing from the bad guy at the end of the movie, Bourne is not discreet in his getaway tactics. He pinballs off of numerous cars and intentionally rams into a few more to survive. Have you seen any of the Bourne movies? Which one is your favourite?
10. Ronin (1998)
Ronin was directed by John Frankenheimer who is a former amateur race driver. He took his love of fast cars and created numerous chases in the film, starring Robert De Niro. But the standout is the final one, which was shot throughout Paris and had up to 300 stunt drivers. Robert De Niro’s Peugeot 406 chasing down Natascha McElhone and Jonathan Pryce in their BMW M5 E34 through the streets of Paris, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic. Not many movie chases give you the feeling that the actual cars being filmed are going fast. But this one does, which adds to the thrill. The cars went up to speeds of 120 miles per hour while filming.
Which of these films is your favourite?