Movie fans love to discuss the best car-chase scenes, but it's not as often that we talk about car-race scenes. And yet there are a whole bunch of really great films wholly focused on professional and illegal car racing and others simply featuring memorable scenes of isolated automotive competition. Between the increased interest in the Fast and Furious franchise this year and now the release of Ron Howard's Rush, both street and sport racing is on our minds and we want to determine which one has the best race of all.
Each of the two varieties has seen its share of both dramas and comedies, and just because a race is funny doesn't mean it's not exciting, so it's difficult to pick a favorite. Try to weigh the action in Days of Thunder against the action in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. And then compare either of those to the fantastical take on the sport in Pixar's Cars or to the real deal in the exhilerating documentary Senna, with all its genuine Formula One footage.
Not everyone is into the speedway and circuit-type auto racing, though, so let's also consider the illegal and nonprofessional movie races out there, too. There are those involving quick, straight-course, drag-type races as in the Fast and Furious series and significant parts of American Graffiti, Grease, Two-Lane Blacktop and more. Then there are those focused on cross-country rallies, such as the Cannonball Run movies, The Great Race and maybe the epic comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, which deals with a treasure hunt but one that has many people racing towards a finishing point if not line.
Other favorite films that entail terrific car-race scenes include The Love Bug, Les Mans, The Wraith, Snake and Mongoose, Grand Prix, Six Pack, Racing Dreams, Iron Man 2 and Speed Racer. There are tons more going back about as far as cars have existed. So, which one is the most thrilling for you?