By: Michael Stevens
Published: Jul 3, 2021

Best Car Movie Chases

A list of the best car chases ever seen in the movies. Most of these chases were done by professional stunt drivers. Each car was chosen for the film with the best directors.

1. Ronin (1998) - Veteran director John Frankenheimer used the techniques in this story of mercenaries hunting one another through Europe. Employing Formula One pilots as stunt drivers, Frankenheimer let loose brawny Euro-muscle machinery like the Audi S8, BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz 6.9 for the car chases. The battle took place on narrow city streets and roads cut along the French Riviera coast.

2. Against All Odds (1984) - Director Taylor Hackford tried to revive film noir with this moody depiction of moral corruption in Los Angeles. But what remains indelible is the action Hackford staged along L.A.’s always-crowded Sunset Boulevard between a Porsche 911 Cabriolet and Ferrari 308 GTSi. Almost unique among cinematic car chases, both vehicles emerge intact from this contest.

3. Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - If it weren’t for Star Wars, Smokey and the Bandit would have been the highest grossing film of 1977. As it is, the film’s been continuously popular for more than 30 years now. The combination of director Hal Needham and his one-time roommate Burt Reynolds results in an enormously self-satisfied movie that mixes excellent car stunts with a great comic performance from Jackie Gleason.

4. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) - As the life of a Secret Service agent (played by CSI star and legit car enthusiast William Petersen) slides into anarchy, he takes greater chances with his own life and the lives of those around him. That’s brought home in the chaotic chase staged by director William Friedkin that concludes with Petersen piloting his Chevrolet the wrong way down the freeway. But look more closely, and you’ll notice that Petersen is driving on the right-hand side of the road while Friedkin has sent the rest of traffic in the wrong direction.


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