Cars Just for Fun

The Five Greatest Film Car Chases of All Time

Some of the most memorable scenes from the best movies of all time have involved car chases. A lot of money and effort goes into making these original as well as exciting. It is hard to imagine how anything new can be added to these scenes, but filmmakers keep on coming up with novel ideas. This type of action never seems to get boring and so we can probably expect that there will be many more of these to come in future films.  This is all great news for those of us who just love a good car chase. Some movie car chases are timeless; here are just five of the greatest car chases of all time.

The Italian Job (1969)
“Get your skates on mate…this is the self preservation society, this is the self preservation society” Not only is this one of the most memorable car chases of all time but it also comes with a great soundtrack.  If you whistle the tune of the Self Preservation Society most people will automatically remember this car chase – not many movie clips have the same recognisability. The Italian Job produced something that had never previously been seen before and no film has been quite able to reproduce it since. The amazing thing is that this was also one of the slowest car chases because it involved three Mini Coopers; it never becomes a high speed chase but is more like chess in cars. The action takes place on the streets of Turin and this only adds to the charm of the scene.  If you want to experience some great sixties nostalgia then watch this movie again.

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
Forget about 2000 remake because the original version is in a different league. If you love car chases then you are going to be spoilt with this one because it lasts for 34 minutes and involves the destruction of 93 cars. Many claim that this is the best car chase ever filmed and it is hard to disagree after watching the movie. Incredibly this chase also takes place across five different cities. If you were only ever going to get to see one car chase then this would be the one to see.

The Bourne Identity (2002)
This is another chase involving the Mini Cooper. This car is so closely related to the Italian job that the filmmakers took a real chance by using it again in the Bourne Identity. Not only did they manage to pull it off though, but they ended up creating another truly unforgettable and unique car chase. This car chase takes place around scenic Paris and involves some great stunts; probably the most memorable is when Jason Bourne takes the mini down a long flight of steps.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Smokey and the Bandit is one of the best examples of the comic car chase.  The whole movie is based around the attempts of the Bandit to smuggle some beer and the determination of the police to stop him; so the whole movie is really one big car chase. See what happens when incompetent lawmen go up against a determined smuggler and attempt to chase him down; as the action moves from Texas to Georgia there is a wake of destroyed cop cars – brilliant stuff. Buford and Junior m    ay not be the smartest lawmen in the world but there is no doubting their tenacity; from one disaster to another they continue to pursue the Bandit.

The Blues Brothers (1980)
This film probably involves the only car chase that ever began because those trying to get away believed they were on a mission from God. In fact there is more than one chase in this film; one of them takes place over 106 miles.  One of the most memorable chases tales place as the Blues Brothers crash their way through a department store and then later a shopping precinct. The Blues Brothers not only need to elude the police but they are also being hunted down by a group of Nazis. The number of crashes in the movie is impressive and the comic elements make them impossible to forget. Most memorable of all is the Bluesmobile that is used for much of the action; a second-hand police car that is ideal when you are trying to get away from the police.

So there you have just five of the best movie car chases of all time. There are many more memorable examples of the genre out there and it would not be possible to provide a comprehensive list – at least not a fair one anyway. If you do want to see some great car chases though then these five would be a great place to start.

By Anthony

I’m a automotive journalist who's driven new cars on highways, back roads and racetracks all over the world.

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