Film history has often witnessed car chases in his films. With the use of practical effects and with advances in cinematography and filmmaking, car chases look more action-packed than ever.
However, it is the film crew who make these sequences what they are, from the director, the stunt coordinators to the editor. Car chases, if shot well and at a good pace, can become memorable even decades after the film’s release.
‘Golden Eye’ (1995)
Golden Eye is known as one of the best Bond films in the franchise, marking the first appearance of Pierce Brosnan as the titular character of James Bond. The film was the first Bond film to be released since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, along with the fall of the Soviet Union. Further, Judi Dench was cast as M, replacing Robert Brownmaking her the very first M played by a woman in the history of the series.
Although several stunts were used during the film’s production, the biggest sequence in the film was the tank chase, which was powered by Brosnan’s Bond. In the scene, Bond tries to save Natalya (Izabella Scorupco), who has been kidnapped by Colonel Ouromov (John Gottfried† The chase took about six weeks to film. The chase was partly filmed on location in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in the slum of Leavesden, a film studio. A real tank was loaned and retrofitted to prevent damage to the streets of St. Petersburg.
‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ (1991)
Considered one of the best movies in the franchise apart from the original movie itself, Terminator 2: Judgment Day saw the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton in their respective roles. In the film, a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator is sent with orders to kill John Connor (Edward Furlong) of the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), an advanced shape-shifting Terminator. During part of the film, the T-1000 approaches John who tries to flee on a bicycle.
Also chasing John is the T-800 on a Harley-Davidson. Director James Cameron brings sheer intensity and excitement to the sequence that will leave the audience on the edge of their seats. As the T-1000 assertively rams its truck through everything in its path, the T-800 quickly follows from above onto the highway, bringing a satisfying end to the scene when the T-800 can save John.
bullittstarring Steve McQueen† Robert Vaughnand Jacqueline Bisset, features one of the best car chases in movie history. Set in San Francisco, the film follows McQueen as Frank Bullitt who begins a nearly 11-minute car chase through the hilly streets of San Francisco. In the film, McQueen maneuvers in a 1968 Mustang GT fastback while being chased by two men driving a ’68 Dodge Charger.
The car chase took about five weeks to film and completely revolutionized the standards of car chases in film. The scene tantalized and stimulated both car enthusiasts and the general public. Most notably, McQueen was behind the wheel of the Mustang GT for much of the shooting, with stunt drivers featured in other scenes. On loan to the studio, the Mustang was modified to meet the demands of the hunt, reaching speeds of up to 110 miles per hour.
‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ (1974)
Although a remake was released in 2000 starring Angelina Jolie† Nicolas Cage† Giovanni Ribisand Robert Duval, the original film released in 1974 featured one of the most spectacular car chases on film. The film was produced on a budget of about $150,000, but was incredibly ambitious with the chase scene.
The film follows an insurance detective who is also a car thief. The plot involves the thief, who is tasked with stealing more than 40 cars within five days. This eventually leads to the chase, which came in with a 40-minute driving sequence, the longest chase in movie history. Additionally, the cars destroyed during the chase were all purchased for about $200 each, destroying over 90 cars. The sense of danger created by the chase scenes, along with the driving behavior of the actor and director HB Halickicmakes this a thrilling chase you will never forget.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road was the fourth installment in the Mad Max franchise and was directed by George Miller, who had previously directed the previous parts. Starring Tom Hardy in the titular role previously played by Mel Gibson in the original movie from 1979† Fury Road also with star Charlize Theron† Nicholas Houltand Hugh Keays-Byrnec†
Fury Road is also most famous for its chase scene that was shot with mostly practical effects with real cars and stunts. In the climax of the chase in the film, and the most dangerous stunt, the War Rig is destroyed by Hoult’s character and was done using practical effects. Hundreds of crew members were on set to assist in the various stunts in the film, in addition to the climax of the chase.