Eye For Film >> Movies >> Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) Film Review
Maindrian Pace (H.B. Halicki) is an insurance agent by day and a car thief by night. He and his gang of car thieves have only a few days to steal 48 high-powered cars to order. (He also has to, no doubt, resist the constant urge to find out what on earth his parents were thinking in calling him Maindrian).
Forty-seven of the cars they are able to steal with barely a hitch, but the 48th, codenamed Eleanor, is going to cause him more problems than he could ever have imagined...
Gone In 60 Seconds is a low-budget car chase movie. Everything is almost incidental to the big 40-minute car chase at the end. The script is woefully amateur, in terms of both dialogue and clearly explaining what little plot there is. The acting is as bad as you could imagine. However, as bad as Gone In 60 Seconds should be, it is, in fact, superbly fun.
Rough around the edges it may be, but the rough edges are played down as much as possible, and also manage to add to the film's charm. It takes a good 20minutes of car-stealing action before the cast's lack of ability at delivering dialogue becomes noticeable - and they know well enough to avoid speaking much after that.
I'm hard pushed to praise the direction, as it's generally as poor as the acting, but praise it I must: the direction, the editing, and just the film-making in general have to be praised for turning a film with so little going for it into something far far greater than the sum of its parts.
Comparison must be made with the 2000 remake starring Nicolas Cage. As many remakes tend to do, it completely missed the point of its predecessor. It tried to make the rough edges slick (and succeeded) but that only managed to show up the weak plot and lose so much of the charm of the original.
The 1974 Gone In 60 Seconds is all about one large car chase at the end. With a budget as small as the film had, there were never going to be any show-stopping stunts. But the chase does have, for well over half an hour, is a consistently high level of driving, escaping, crashing and bumping.
There aren't any specifics to point to about what makes it so enjoyable, but it is. Ronin may have the best car chase ever on film, The Blues Brothers may do everything that Gone In 60 Seconds does, and so much more. Gone In 60 Seconds is, however, despite its many flaws, an excellent slice of mindless fun.Reviewed on: 25 Jul 2005