Speeding into theaters on Aug. 24th is the action/comedy, car-chasing extravaganza Hit and Run. To properly rev up your engine for the release, we've compiled a list of our top 10 movie car chases. Buckle your seat belt, and hit the accelerator...
10. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
There are really two ultra-cool car chases in T2. We're not too picky. We'll take the T-1000 hijacking a semi-rig and trying to mow down poor John Connor on his shabby dirt bike. Or that testy T plowing his helicopter into Arnold and company's SWAT vehicle at the end, followed by another big rig, turned over, sliding, then slamming into a steel factory. Both make us feel like we've just done 100 jumping jacks.
9. The French Connection (1971)
This is another perennial favorite on the lists of all-time movie car chases. The great thing about it are all the happy accidents. No, that car wasn't really supposed to crash (graze?) into Gene Hackman's as he barrels under the elevated train in his Pontiac LeMans. But hey, we're happy it did. It only adds to the sequence's level of super-duper heightened intensity.
8. Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
No offense to Nic Cage's more recent version of Gone in 60 Seconds...it's fine, but the car chase you really want to see is from the original, captured in a 34-minute pile-up through the ports of Long Beach. All in all, 93 cars are sacrificed unto the altar of excellent movie car chases.
7. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Back in the days of The Dukes of Hazzard, no one drove a souped-up black Pontiac Trans-Am as well as Burt Reynolds in a cowboy hat. Throw in Sally Field as a bride on the run, Jerry Reed as beer smuggler the 'Snowman' and Jackie Gleason as good 'ol boy Sheriff Buford T. Justice in hot pursuit, and you have the makings of one classic movie night with automotives, popcorn and a six pack.
6. Ronin (1998)
This is why we love director John Frankenheimer (also the mastermind behind The Manchurian Candidate). In a move to capture real authenticity--and a look of bat*#*& fear--from his stars Robert De Niro and Natascha McElhone, Frankenheimer actually had them ride in the vehichles chasing each other at speeds from 75 to 100mph through the traffic-packed streets of Paris. Congrats! It worked!
5. The Blues Brothers (1980)
When it comes to classic car chases, more is more, and The Blues Brothers are happy to abide. Featuring more wrecked black and white units than anything filmed before or since, the Brothers' doozy of flight gives Illinois a new reputation, especially the Dixie Square Mall, where apparently drive-up service is more than welcomed.
4. Deathproof (2007)
Besides Kurt Russell's hilarious turn as warped killer driver Stuntman Mike, the centerpiece in Deathproof is a jaw-dropping chase involving a 1969 Dodge Charger and a modified 1970 Dodge Challenger. The kicker is, Mike's hurtling down the highway at top speed with a girl being tossed to and fro on his hood. Said she-devil is the incredibly brave real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell.
3. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
Long before he was figuring out crime scenes on CSI, William Petersen was a devil-may-care treasury agent in William Friedkin's underrated '80s actioner. The chase in To Die goes down in infamy for one crazy-ass life-choice made by Petersen. At the end of an already thrilling car chase, he guns it through L.A. rush hour on the freeway...driving the wrong way. Inexplicably stupid? Yes. Amazingly exciting? Hell yes.
2. The Road Warrior (1981)
Mad Max 2 (or The Road Warrior as it was renamed for US audiences) climaxes with a 20-minute car chase involving a big rig, motor bikes, cop cars and all manner of re-tooled muscle cars. Throw in a gang of mohawked punks just arrived from a Motley Crue video shoot, and one tough-as-nails-looking Mel Gibson, and you've got a car chase and thrill ride that's impossible to forget.
1. Bullitt (1968)
Consistently voted the best movie car chase by experts on and offline, this sequence just could not be more cool. Steve McQueen is on his A-game and then some as Lt. Frank Bullitt, who chases the baddies up, down, back and around through the winding streets of San Francisco. Four decades later, the chase and McQueen's '68 Ford Mustang are vintage steel.