Car Movies and Movie Cars
Good Movies about Great Cars
Do you love Great Car Movies? If you want to read about some great movies, and the cars that made them so great, then you've come to the right place.
Reminisce about great movies from your past and discover some that you might not have seen before.
The Fast and the Furious - 2001
The Fast and the Furious delivers heavy doses of what car enthusiast want to see in a movie:
- cars - lots of heavily-modified, sleek, fast cars
- girls - also heavily modified... sleek... you get the idea
- high-speed action
- gear head jargon
This movie impacted a generation and put feet to the tuner-car genre with its bold, aggressively designed cars and thumping soundtracks. Special FX inside-the-engine shots following the NOS streams are recognizable to car-tech novices and exhilarating to horse power junkies.
An LA policeman goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of suspected high-jackers. Split loyalties lead to some hard decisions but, in the end,nobody goes to jail and somehow both the cop and the King of the street racing scene come out heroes.
Don't let the cliché of a story line fool you, this is a must see that spawned four sequels (although the franchise did decline significantly after the second movie - 2 Fast 2 Furious).
The Road Warrior - 1979
Mad Max The Road Warrior started the "Survivor" theme that has become a popular subculture within the custom car and custom motorcycle circuit. What was Ford thinking when they decided that the XB GT Falcon (351 Cleveland engine, 9 inch rear differential and front disc brakes all being standard equipment) wasn't right for the American market? Come to think of it, what's Ford thinking now by keeping the Falcon out of the U.S.?
Cult Classic film showcasing the futuristic degradation of society and the lone man still willing and able to stand up for what's good. Great crash scenes. To American eyes, the cars and motorcycles look bizarre, yet strangely familiar - and totally Bad A$$. Check out these Mad Max Road Warrior clips.
Smokey and the Bandit - 1977
Some movies don't age well; Smokey and the Bandit is not among them: Burt Reynolds wears his best mustache, Sally Fields never looked better, Jerry Reed is just being Jerry Reed and nobody can cuss better than Jackie Gleason could cuss. Add in some 1970s trucker CB slang and an hour and a half of "high speed pursuit" and you've got a timeless classic.
The Bandit and Snowman are hired to run a truckload of bootleg Coors from Texarkana to Atlanta in just 28 hours. The only way they can make it in time is if the Bandit gets in a speedy car and runs blocker.
Gone In 60 Seconds - 2000
Gone In 60 Seconds Cars:
There are a lot of cars and the 50-car pick list changes throughout the movie but, the one that everyone remembers is the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 - code name "Eleanor."
Gone In 60 Seconds Cast:
Imagine being able to drive any car that you want: the hottest, fastest, most exotic cars ever made, all for the taking. That's what makes Gone in 60 Seconds so exciting. All you have to do is get over that whole felony car theft hangup.
A retired car jacker reunites his team for one last, huge score. They have 72 hours to steal 50 specific cars in order to save Memphis Raines' kid brother's life. Memphis stares down the-one-that-got-away so many times before - Eleanor.
Bad Movies but Great Cars
The Green Hornet
1965 Chrysler Imperial Crown
1973 Chevy Corvette
(Herbie) The Love Bug - 1968
I know that I'll get flack for this but I don't care; I like Herbie The Love Bug! If you don't like him, then make your own list. Ok, maybe I don't like all of the Herbie movies, but I like them enough to recommend the first (The Love Bug - 1968) and the last (Herbie: Fully Loaded - 2005).
Through the magic of Disney, a Volkswagen Beetle comes to life and becomes a world-class race car. Refreshingly, the last Herbie sequel carries all the charm and fun that the first had thirty seven years earlier. Unfortunately, I find the three in between to be a little repetitive - even Disney can only get so much mileage out of a good idea.
Death Proof - 2007
Full of fast action, gratuitous violence and hot chicks that love muscle cars - but in Death Proof, the flat black Nova with white death-head STEALS the show. Tarantino is a master at balancing the realistic and the totally bizarre. If you've ever wanted to see Kurt Russell play the bad guy, then this is the movie for you.
Three women borrow a souped-up muscle car and set out to have a little fun. A serial killer that's also fond of American muscle gives chase... until the women turn the tables and start chasing him. ***Spoiler Alert: the women win.***
Death Race 2000 - 1975
Death Race 2000 Cars:
Mostly VW based Kit Cars themed to resemble a bull, a rocket powered missile, a gangster-style car, etcetera. The star is a Shala Vette kit car themed to resemble a green scaly monster with red eyes. This was the 70s, folks.
Death Race 2000 Cast:
You know those games where you earn points for running over innocent pedestrians? Death Race 2000 started it all way back in 1975. The original Death Race 2000 is a Sci-Fi cult classic deserving of a better remake than the 2008 sequel, which shares little more than a name with the original. This is not the kind of movie that you'll watch over and over again, but it's worth having in your collection.
In the futuristic year 2000, a jaded and moral less society craves a new form of entertainment - the Death Race. Competitors gain points by using machine-gun laden race cars to kill spectators, geriatric patients (or the doctors and nurses), helicopter-flying terrorists and any random pedestrian that's unfortunate enough to come within range. It's fun for the whole family.
Death Race 2 is an updated, but uninspiring sequel. Death Race 3 is better - the story line has a few unexpected twists that do the original proud.
Goldfinger - 1964
No other car capture the spirit of 007 better than the Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger - equipped with: bullet-proof windshield/rear glass, tire-slashing extending wheel caps, machine guns, homing missiles, smoke screens, oil sprayers and an ejector seat. Oddjob, with his statue-decapitating hat, makes one of the greatest henchmen of all time. Pussy Galore is just legendary.
Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"
Goldfinger: "No, Mister Bond. I expect you to die."
Goldfinger plans to contaminate the Fort Knox gold supply with radiation, thereby causing world-wide financial collapse and a subsequent increase in the value of his personal supply of untainted gold. Fortunately, 007 saves the world once again.
Christine - 1983
The "possessed car goes on a killing rampage" story line is not a new one (although Christine had a much higher budget than most others). Why do we like this story, so? I think that it allows us to subconsciously and vicariously live out our otherwise pent up Road Rage. Christine makes the world a safer place to live.
From a time when most horror films were nothing more than slashers comes Christine, a true horror film and one of the best horror films of all time. Arnie, a dark and awkward teen, bears the brunt of a bully's attention - that is until Arnie finds Christine, a car with a thirst for blood going all the way back to the assembly line. Midnight hit-and-run missions (set to a classic 50s soundtrack) eliminate anyone that is perceived to be a threat to Arnie or to the relationship developing between Arnie and Christine.
Cobra - 1986
Nobody will say that this is a good movie. The only memorable parts of Cobra are the Cobra car and the (that knife was a hot item in the late 80s). The big question: is a really cool car enough to save an otherwise forgettable movie? In this case, it is. Spiked Cobra Knife
Marion "Cobra" Cobretti is a city cop out to catch (more probably kill) a serial killer. Lots of action, violence, guns and one real sweet ride.
American Graffiti - 1973
American Graffiti Cars:
1932 Ford Deuce Coupe
Francis Ford Coppola
American Graffiti Cast:
Charles Martin Smith
Did American Graffiti rekindle the Hot Rod craze? It sure didn't hurt it. American Graffiti spawned the TV show 'Happy Days" and that definitely kicked off the 50s craze that hit during the 70s. Fortunately, sock hops died again; Hot Rods are here to stay.
Two all-American youths enjoy one last night of "cruisin' the circuit" before heading off to college.
Hollywood Knights - 1980
The Hollywood Knights is an obvious knock off of American Graffiti. They don't just share the same elements, Hollywood Knights uses basically the same story line right down to: the radio dedication that must go out tonight, the vandalism done to the police car, the car club initiation, the walk back after being stranded in the middle of nowhere, the drive-in diner and the big race.
There are some differences of course. American Graffiti is a drama focusing on the story line. Hollywood Knights is a comedy, gratuitously focusing on crude humor, shiny paint it's good-looking cast. If this were a review on cinematic merit, American Graffiti would win hands down but it's not, it's a review of Car Movies. For the average guy looking for a great Car Movie, Hollywood Knights fits the bill.
A group of all-American youth enjoy one last night of cruising their favorite hangout.
Tuff Turf - 1985
This is the only movie I can think of where James Spader plays a good guy. Robert Downey Jr.'s character is not nearly as over the top as usual. Sometime in the 10 years after "Escape to Witch Mountain", Kim Richards got really Hot!
Then there's the car: a muscle-bound 68 Camaro with a 327, in flat black with a brown primer top coat with a smoked headlight cover.
If you're into 80s pop culture, Tuff Turf is a must-see. Complete with popped collars, lace gloves and a boom box so big that you need a red wagon to pull it in. This movie is actually better appreciated now than it was in 1985.
The new kid ( a misunderstood troublemaker who really has a good heart deep down inside) falls for the girl friend of the real local bad guy and street thug/gang leader.
The Car - 1977
The Car is a cult classic and, as such, deserves to be seen. It won't become one of your favorites, but you won't feel as though you've wasted the evening, either. This movie was probably really scary in 1977.
Barris Customs tricked out some Lincoln Continental Mark IIIs with:
- black paint (matte on the custom fenders)
- no chrome
- shaved handles
- open pipes
- a menacing-looking custom bumper
- headlights that almost look as if they're sunk into cheeks and
- blacked-out window tint all around (black from the outside, orange from the inside)
For some unexplained reason, The Car becomes demon possessed and goes on a small-town killing spree. Best scene? - when the Car won't enter the cemetery.
D.C. Cab - 1983
D.C. Cab is one of the great, classic movie from the 80s... and it's even better today than it was then. Granted - it's not your typical Car Movie, but it is about Taxi Cabs - right?
- Mr. T would get top-billing on a movies' credits?
- we thought Gary Busey was good at playing the crazy guy? Now we know that he is the crazy guy.
- people still listened to Irene Cara?
- everyone recognized Grady from "Sanford and Son"?
- nobody recognized Bill Maher?
If you're a fan of the 80s, you just have to watch DC Cab, again.
More Great Car Movie Reviews to Come
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
Streets of Fire
Other Great Movie Cars
Ecto 1 - 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance
Blues Mobile - 1974 Dodge Monaco
National Lampoon's Vacation
Wagon Queen Family Truckster - Ford LTD Country Squire
Deathmobile - 1964 Lincoln Continental
Back to the Future
Dazed and Confused
1970 Chevelle SS
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
1961 Ferrari GT250
1969 GTO Judge
1948 Ford Deluxe Convertible
1949 Dodge Wayfarer Convertible
graffiti painted late 50s Cadillac Hearse/Limo/Ambulance
Car Movies that Just Didn't Make the Cut
Nothing against these cars - I just didn't want to have to watch these movies again.
Mother, Jugs & Speed
Tucker - The Man and His Dream