The action film is built on a couple tried and true setups: The fight sequence, the shoot-out and possibly an explosion or two, but the most exciting staple of the action genre is the car chase. Few things get the adrenaline going more than two supped-up cars weaving in and out of traffic in a race to the death (or at least the scrap car heap). Here’s a couple of our favorite movie car chases.
- Bullitt: With its crazy steep hills and winding side streets, San Francisco makes for an ideal location to stage a car chase, a fact the 1968 Peter Yates film Bullitt took full advantage of. Steve McQueen’s ’68 Mustang Flashback catches serious air on the hilly streets before chasing two hit men to a more rural, cliff hugging highway where one of the cars ultimately meets its end in a climactic gas station explosion.
- The French Connection: The most famous car chase in film history doesn’t depict a car chasing another car at all. In William Friedkin’s 1971 film The French Connection, Gene Hackman commandeers a car to chase a killer escaping on an elevated train in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Driving underneath the tracks along Stillwell Avenue, Hackman dodges not only cars but the track’s steel beams to keep up with the hijacked D train in one of the most white-knuckle chases put to celluloid.