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38. The Car (1977)
This is basically Jaws with a car, and it’s just as loony as that sounds. A black automobile, presumably from the depths of Hell, terrorizes a small town, and it’s local lawman James Brolin’s job to stop it. Utterly ridiculous, at times laughably so. But that’s kind of its genius, too: Because this car does all sorts of things a car could never actually do, you never quite know what to expect. Directed by Elliot Silverstein, this cult horror flick was a late-show mainstay: Any kid switching channels late at night in the ’80s when those ominous “Dies Irae” chords came on knew he or she was in for something special.
Funny enough, this 1978 crime thriller was one of the movies that inspired the previous film, Drive. It’s also been credited as a big inspiration to Quentin Tarantino and has gone on to achieve cult-status amongst movie fanatics. The story follows a nameless getaway driver, who steals fast cars and uses them in big-time heists, as he is being pursued by an obsessed detective. There’s a lot of chases, gunplay, and enough cool classic vehicles to sate even the hungriest car movie fans.
35. The Italian Job (1969)
“You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” Cockney con man Michael Caine, recently released from the clink, puts together a truly ludicrous heist to steal $4 million in Mafia gold bullion from the middle of Turin using Mini Coopers. It’s an odd, silly little movie, but it’s filled with charming bits, from Noel Coward as an aristocratic gangster to Benny Hill as a pervy prof to Quincy Jones’s jazzy score. Most importantly, the central heist and its ludicrous aftermath are delightfully well-executed. Though quite different in tone and style, the Fast and Furious movies owe a lot to this bubbly cult classic.
Why “Rush” Makes Our Best Car Movie List
A biography of Formula 1 champion driver Niki Lauda and the 1976 crash that almost claimed his life. Mere weeks after the accident, he got behind the wheel to challenge his rival, James Hunt.
This was an epic real-life, legendary rivalry that rocked the world. During the sexy and glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing, two drivers emerged as the best: gifted English playboy James Hunt and the brilliant Austrian opponent, Niki Lauda. Ron Howard’s “Rush” is a better film, not so much for the very effective simulation of actual racing conditions but for an impressive, well-written, and well-played depiction of the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1978 Formula I campaign. If you are an F1 fan it is a must see. Buy on Amazon
Yep, the Pixar family movie. Bear with us, here. We’re going somewhere with this.
Cars are more than a feel-good family film or even a triumph of computer animation. It’s a genuinely intriguing and imaginative look into the personalities and lives of the motor vehicles we drive every day. The imaginative use of the premise—a society composed of conscious and near-anthropomorphic cars—delves into the nature of the vehicles themselves and our relationship with them.
37. Herbie Fully Loaded
Consider this to be Herbie with a twist. As luck would have it, there is a new owner, Maggie Peyton. You know her as the infamous Lindsay Lohan. It seems Maggie has a goal to turn Herbie into a NASCAR competitor. The road is fraught with slapstick mayhem, but you have to admit, the original Volkswagen Beetle is a true standout. So is the book the entire series was based upon, but you won’t find it anywhere. Gordon Buford was the author. The piece was titled Car, Boy, Girl. It is speculated that he wrote it and immediately sold the rights to Disney.
4. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
Why “Mad Max 2 ” Makes Our Best Car Movie List
Let us start by saying every Mad Max movie should be on the list. We had to pick one. This is our way of being super-picky and disciplined. Mad Max 2 is the winner.
Aside from being the best movie ever, action, and stunts in the movie are mind blowing. One scene has a baddy flying in the air head over heals, if you slow it down you can see the stunt man actually broke his legs for real. The director kept it in the movie cause it looks too bad. Our kind of our movie. When people get hurt in a movie for real, you know it’s a good movie.
Mad Max 2 goes out with a big bang. A 20 minute finale with giant chase involving over a dozen vehicles, the main centerpiece of it being a tanker truck with Max at the driver’s seat.
This entire action sequence alone is perhaps the best one ever put on film, period. It truly has you on the edge of your seat, you dare not look away. Buy On Amazon.
Based on a true story, Rush details the bitter rivalry that separated James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two of the greatest Formula One pilots of the 1970s. It takes viewers back to one of the most ruthless and exciting eras of Formula One history, and culminates with the fiery 1976 crash that nearly killed Lauda.
The Worlds Fastest Indian
Yes, we know that motorcycles are not strictly cars. Still, this biographical picture follows Burt Monroe (played by Anthony Hopkins), a New Zealander who is dying of heart disease, as he tries to break the land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats upon his souped-up 1920 Indian motorcycle – a feat which he achieved in real life in 1967. This movie is fun, inspiring, and – at times – heartbreaking. And it speaks to us both as vehicular fanatics and as men aware of our own mortality.
Honorable Mention: The Blues Brothers
While it doesn’t quite measure up as one of the best car movies of all times, The Blues Brothers (1980) still boasts some impressive chase scenes – including one through an indoor mall – and held the record for most cars wrecked in a film (103, to be exact), until the disappointing sequel deliberately broke that record by one car in the year 2000.