The Blues Brothers
Against All Odds
Do you recall Taylor Hackford? American film director and former president of the Directors Guild of America? He was once married to Helen Mirren? Well, he proved to us, you don’t need to wreck cars to make car stunts and car chases interesting. In Against all odds, the stunt coordinator Gary Davis (in the 911) and Cary Loftin (in the Ferrari) created a mad race along Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard between a Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole and a Porsche 911SC.
Smokey and the Bandit
The combination of director Hal Needham and his one-time roommate Burt Reynolds results in an immensely enjoyable movie that mixes excellent car stunts with a great comic performance from Jackie Gleason, and if it weren’t for Star Wars, Smokey and the Bandit would have been the highest grossing film of 1977. But the biggest winner this film produced was Pontiac, which saw sales of the Firebird Trans Am skyrocket after its appearance as Reynolds’s ride.
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
Just about everyone who grew up during the 1980s remembers this film’s classic climax, not because they’ve actually seen the film, but because of the lime green ’69 Dodge Charger hitting a locomotive. As intense as that smashing collision is, it’s the pursuit beforehand was even more impressive. Working on a tight budget, director John Hough cast actor Vic Morrow as the obsessive pursuing sheriff in a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter alongside veteran stunt pilot James Gavin, then had them chase that Charger through citrus orchards at extremely low altitudes. The result is automotive brilliance and astounding aviation.
The chase in Bullitt remains the chase against which all other movie car chases are measured, and to this day, still remains one of my favourite movies of all time. The scene benefits hugely from star Steve McQueen’s natural ability behind the wheel. However, the amazing stunt was carried out by the legendary stunt driver Bill Hickman (behind the wheel of the Charge, and Carey Loftin (behind the Mustang GT 390).