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The Driver 1978

  • Walter Hill
  • July 10, 1978
  • 91 mins
  • English
  • Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
To break the driver, the cop was willing to break the law.
The Driver specializes in driving getaway cars for robberies. His exceptional talent has prevented him from being caught yet. After another successful flight from the police a self-assured detective makes it his primary goal to catch the Driver. He promises pardons to a gang if they help to convict him in a set-up robbery. The Driver seeks help from The Player to mislead the detective.


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A sort-of Film Noir car chase thriller, inspired by Le Samourai and went on to inspire Drive, this is right down my alley, no pun intended.

Ryan O’Neal plays a quiet, emotionless getaway driver with Bruce Dern’s hardened cop on his ass. Dern catches another criminal and persuades him to hire The Driver in a sting operation. The criminal tries to shaft them both and it all goes to hell from there.

It’s hard to see who gave the go-ahead on a script that is basically a way to hang some car chases together, but I’m glad they did. O’Neal plays it cool, as does Isabelle Adjani as the not-quite love interest, and it’s, well… cool! What makes it all work is that director Walter Hill also plays it cool. The chase sequences are incredibly well executed, and it’s thanks to a refreshing less-is-more approach from him.

If you’ve got an hour and half to spare and are fond of hard-boiled car chase thrillers then give The Driver a shot.


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