Getaway cars form one of the backbone features of this year’s show. This serves as the perfect excuse to sit down and pour through numerous youtube videos and figure out “what is the most authentic, realistic car chase in film?” We asked around the office and had a bit of an argument.
We think secretly everyone has wanted to be in a car chase, probably as the hero, hopefully not as the criminal. There is an aura which surrounds cars used in film, often the humbler the machinery, the more relatable it is to the audience and therefore it’s more captivating, genuine and you are invested. You believe it could happen. Case in point, the Aston Martin DB10 vs Jaguar C-X75 in Spectre tearing through the streets isn’t a particularly well-remembered car chase. Compare that to Ronin. The chases involved Peugeot 406’s, BMW E34’s, Citroen XM’s and even a 1995 Peugeot Expert Série 1 (it’s a van). Hardly poster pin-ups but undoubtedly some of the greatest car chase scenes ever shown on the silver screen. The Audi A8 was the star, but surrounded by humble machinery, without which the chase would loose it’s gritty nature.
So ignoring the high-end glitz and glamour, what can be considered the top 5 authentic car chases committed to film. Our picks are below. Feel free to tell us on Facebook that we’re wrong and what you’d pick.
5. Bourne Supremacy – A Russian taxi (GAZ 3110 for the purists), the scene also involves a standard Mercedes G-Wagon. Not the all conquering AMG version but the more humble utilitarian version. Quite how the GAZ survives is beyond us here, but the sequence is great to watch.
4. The Driver – Fans of the German marque must wince everytime they see this film.
3. Ronin – Any film that can make the Peugeot 406 seem exciting should be highly praised.
2. Bullitt – Fairly obvious; it’s the classic, go-to film car chase. But it doesn’t snag number one spot for a particular reason. It is not quite as authentic as…
1. The French Connection – which involved a 1971 Pontiac LeMans racing against a subway train. – the legend that surrounds this film is unbelievable, according to IMDB, numerous witnesses, off-duty police officers and even the producers themselves.
“The car crash during the chase sequence, at the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and 86th St., was unplanned and was included because of its realism. The man whose car was hit had just left his house a few blocks from the intersection to go to work and was unaware that a car chase was being filmed. The producers later paid the bill for the repairs to his car.”
There we are then, can a car chase be any more authentic, gritty or real than one filmed on public streets involving a car accident with the public? In todays world of health and safety it’s impossible, thus The French Connection from 1971 is the best getaway sequence in our opinion. Not necessarily the most famous, Bullitt holds that honour, but certainly a Pontiac Le Mans will always hold a soft spot in our hearts.