"Fate of the Furious" is on movie screens now, which got us asking people around the office for their favorite car chase scenes that weren't in "Fast and Furious" films. Click through this gallery for a wild ride.
After giving it a lot of thought, I've decide to pass over "Vanishing Point" (20th Century Fox) in favor of "Freebie and the Bean" (Warner Bros). The adversarial buddy-cop dynamic between Alan Arkin and James Caan sends this exquisitely filmed chase scene into another delightfully comic dimension. Gratuitous Frisco [San Francisco] landmarks are skewered throughout including the routing of a prescient early '70s Super Bowl parade. Clever editing splices together the Broadway and Stockton tunnels showing James Caan employing shortcuts only a savvy Marin commuter might know. Watch it!
Like all sequels, "Bad Boys II" (Simpson/Bruckheimer) sought to go bigger than the original. But this is also a Michael Bay film, so bigger, louder, and more visceral is necessary. In fact this is pre-Transformers Michael Bay, so the seeds of chaos on film were technically sewn here.
In this one of two car chases in the film, we see Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in their Ferrari (of course) chasing the bad guys in a stolen big rig that's carrying cars (why not). One thing leads to another and they end up on a bridge. The cars are forced off the rig like obstacles causing mayhem and a dude towing a boat is brought in for good measure. What you get is an awesome but heavily CG'd chase through the streets of Miami. Watch it!
I haven't seen many car chase movies but "Gone in 60 Seconds" (Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films) grabbed my attention as a teenager. I was fascinated with the story line and many of the cars were drool-worthy. Watch it!
- Nader Zaidan, senior QA engineer
Caption byJason Parker / Photo by Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Watching Nic Cage steal 50 cars in one night in "Gone in 60 seconds" (Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films) made me briefly consider a career in grand theft auto. Not to mention the Shelby GT 500 (aka Eleanor) may be one of the most American cars ever built. Watch it!
- Andrew Altman, associate editor
Caption byJason Parker / Photo by Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films
It has to be "The Blues Brothers"(Universal Pictures).
"There are 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses" - Elwood Blues.
"Hit it!" - Joliet Jake.
With those lines, one of the most epic movie car chases begins as the Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi) try to make it to Daley Plaza in Chicago to save the orphanage they were raised in. Half the fun is watching so many cars chase through the streets of Chicago.
The Blues Brothers drive the Bluesmobile: a former police 1974 Dodge Monaco -- "It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks." They are pursued by literally dozens of police cars and an RV. At the time of its release, "The Blues Brothers" held the record for the most cars destroyed in a film -- 103 -- until the sequel came out and destroyed 104. Watch it!
I also choose "The Blues Brothers" (Universal Pictures). Didn't it set the record at the time for the most onscreen carnage in a pileup? The whole chase is executed beautifully -- almost like watching a ballet of twisted metal. Its unflappable protagonists dash in an out of tough spots with the cops in Chicago, during several high speed chases with high flying stunts that result in the eradication of a bunch of Nazis. What more could you ask for? Watch it!
- Bryan VanGelder, studio production manager and sound engineer
For the best car chase we would have to go back 40 years to "Smokey and the Bandit" (Universal Pictures). Bandit (Burt Reynolds) and The Snowman (Jerry Reed) are trying to deliver a truckload of bootlegged Coors beer in 38 hours or less for $80,000 (big money back in 1977). All this while trying to shake a bloodhound sheriff and his bonehead son, Junior. And let's not forget that awesome black Trans-Am that sparked a fad in the late '70s. Watch it!
- Tammy Cavadias, community and member services manager
"Duel" (Universal Studios) is kinda cheesy, kinda dated and kinda slow. But it's a surprisingly effective debut from Steven Spielberg (ever heard of him?) that makes a dumpy tanker truck seem like the most intimidating thing in existence. Watch it!
For my money, the chase scene in "The French Connection" (20th Century Fox) is one of the best ever filmed. Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle commandeers a citizen's Buick and makes a white-knuckled, pedal-to-the-floorboards chase under several miles of elevated Brooklyn subway in pursuit of a hitman who's fleeing aboard a BMT train on the tracks above. Popeye constantly leans on the horn, weaving through both lanes of traffic, narrowly missing (and not quite missing) about 50 potential collisions in the 5-minute sequence, even nearly mowing down a pedestrian pushing a stroller. The way the sequence is filmed and cut together by director William Friedkin and his editor and cinematographer really puts you in the car with Doyle and you share his anxiety at the possibility of losing the bad guy he's been hunting for so long. Watch it!
If you're tired of the heavy-handed CG of the "Fast and Furious" movies, "Death Proof" (Dimension Films) is the solution. The chase scene at the end is gritty, terrifying and positively amazing. When "Fast and Furious" goes to sleep, this is the movie that haunts its dreams. Watch it!
Bear with me: My favorite car chase scene doesn't actually include any cars. Bullitt opened and closed the book on car chases. Almost everything else since then has been a rehash. My favorite chase scene, then? Finn and Poe escaping the First Order in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures). Unconventional? Yep! But a thrilling chase, all the same. Watch it!
- Ryan Derry, manager, systems operations
Caption byJason Parker / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
"Mad Max: Fury Road" (Warner Bros.) is a two-hour post-apocalyptic car chase! The cars are amazing and unique. There is minimal dialog so there can be more focus on the cars and the chase. Also, the soundtrack is wonderful and paces well with the action. Watch it!
I also chose "Mad Max: Fury Road" (Warner Bros.) because it raised the bar on what it takes to be a top car chase movie. If a movie's car chase doesn't have a blind heavy metal gangster rocking out on a flaming guitar while thundering through the desert, then I'd say maybe the scene is a little too tame. Watch it!
I have to go with "The Italian Job" (De Line Pictures). Who would have thought Mini Coopers racing through Los Angeles' Metro Rail and storm drain tunnels, and neatly fitting into cargo trains (filled with gold bullion) could be so sexy? In 2003, I did. Watch it!
No no no -- forget the 2003 travesty. The greatest car chase of all time is the original 1969 "Italian Job". The first portion of the film is a gleeful swinging '60s caper, in which sharp-suited Michael Caine and his cockney crew set up a robbery with the help of Noel Coward's crime boss, who runs his criminal empire from a prison cell, and Benny Hill's salacious scientist.
Once the Mafia are out of the way, the final third is one of the longest and most gloriously entertaining car chases ever: three perfectly choreographed Mini Coopers blast through subways, leap across rooftops and zoom through sewers, leading to the finest cliffhanger in cinematic history. As Michael Caine would put it: Get your skates on mate!
"Vanishing Point" (20th Century Fox) is an early '70s movie that follows a man named Kowalski as he attempts to deliver a Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours. Attracting the attention of police, his epic drive becomes a cause celebre among the public. "Vanishing Point" embodies the anti-authoritarian zeitgeist of its post-hippie era, and shows some extremely cool cars in the bargain. Watch it!
The Bourne movies are good for car chases, but the one in "The Bourne Supremacy" (Universal Pictures) remains my favorite. What starts off as a chase quickly turns into more of a fist fight with cars and with director Paul Greengrass' shaky-cam shooting in full effect, the viewer is left exhausted by the time it ends. Watch it!
How can you have a collection of car chase movies without "Bullitt" (Warner Bros.-Seven Arts)?
One of the most famous of all car chases -- and my personal favorite -- pits a 68 Dodge Charger against a 68 Ford Mustang roaring through San Francisco. Steve McQueen, known at the time as "The King of Cool" puts his classic green Mustang to the test as he goes airborne down the notoriously steep city streets. Another fun and silly fact is the Charger manages to lose eight hubcaps during the chase. So much for continuity, but who cares -- what a ride! Watch it!