The Driver


Reviewed by: John Gallagher

"The elements involved in creating this movie were well thought out and planned perfectly (just like the driver’s getaways)."

The Driver is a cool, steady, confident kind of guy. So cool in fact that he requires no name (he’s played by Ryan O’Neal). Desperate to catch the driver is the mean, corrupt, law breaking detective coincidentally known as the detective (played by Bruce Dern). These two play cat and mouse through the streets of San Francisco (I think) and get involved in a lot of car chases, bump heads with some bad guys, and wreck a lot of things along the way.

After seeing Bullitt and watching that car chase through the streets of San Fran, you wouldn’t think that a car chase could get any more intense. Well if you're in the car with the driver then every car chase is intense (at least in its intense '70s style). Ryan O’Neal plays the cool, never nervous driver for hire, who is willing to get anyone from point A to point B in one piece, and Bruce Dern plays the detective hot on the trail of this cowboy. The two play well off each other and when watching the movie you can see how well as Dern resorts to breaking the very law he has sworn to uphold to try to catch the driver.

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The elements involved in creating this movie were well thought out and planned perfectly (just like the driver’s getaways), and we have director Walter Hill (The Warriors) to thank for that. He tells us enough about each character, but not through back story, just through the way they develop in this movie and because of this there’s even more time to fit in a good chase here and there and the introduction of a beautiful woman (Isabelle Adjani – The Player) to help things along.

If you’re looking for a similar movie to the likes of Bullitt and Gone In 60 Seconds, then you won’t go wrong with The Driver.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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The Driver packshot
A detective hunts a getaway driver through the streets of San Fransisco.
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Director: Walter Hill

Writer: Walter Hill

Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani

Year: 1978

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


EIFF 2006
EIFF 2015

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If you like this, try:

Baby Driver
Gone In 60 Seconds