In the right movie, a car can play a role as central as an actor. These four car films wouldn’t be the same without the four-wheeled features that made them great.
This 1973 film depicts 1960’s youth culture in a coming-of-age story with a thrilling focus on hot rods. Two young boys spend an unforgettable night out on the town before leaving for college the next day. Whether cruising or racing, the cars in this film put on a great display. The highlight of the movie for any car lover is the finale drag race.
The cars that star in this movie are a black ’55 Chevy One-Fifty and a yellow 1932 Ford V8 Deuce Coupe. Also featured is a ’58 Chevy. This early George Lucas film is a classic choice for car lovers who enjoy movies filmed before many of the best scenes became computer animated.
Back to the Future
Image via Flickr by Luke Hayfield
You can’t ignore Back to the Future as a great car film because the souped-up car is one of the most essential plot points of the series. This film and its sequels fostered an enduring love for DeLoreans in the American heart. The DeLorean DMC-12 featured in the film was futuristic-looking enough on its own. With a few time travel gadgets, it became an enduring cultural icon.
Drive is one of the few modern movies that still features enough live stunt driving to qualify as a stellar car film. The main character of the movie is himself a stunt driver, setting the stage for some unforgettable car scenes. The driver also does work as a freelance getaway driver on the side. After befriending the wife of an ex-con, the driver finds himself in a position to help her husband escape his criminal ties.
Though the driver remains unnamed throughout the film, his cars can’t escape with the same anonymity. Viewers are sure to notice and appreciate the white 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle used in the film, as well as some of the other vehicles which include a 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0. These more modern on-screen beauties are recent enough that you can try one out yourself as a car rental.
Bullitt is an all-around classic film. While it doesn’t rely too heavily on the car for its plot line, the vehicle plays a significant role none-the-less. This 1968 dramatic thriller follows San Francisco cop Frank Bullitt who’s charged with protecting a vital witness over the weekend. When two hit men murder the witness, Bullitt goes on a search for both the leak who led them to him and the mob boss behind the murder.
The ’68 Mustang that Bullitt drives stars in a stunning car chase so memorable that Ford would go on to name the Mustang Bullitt after this film. The movie was also chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, so this is one car classic that will stay with us.
Pop in one of these great car films and you’ll look at the road in a whole new way.
Abigail Clark is an upcoming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter @downtownabby17.