Insurance investigator Maindrian Pace and his team lead double-lives as unstoppable car thieves. When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one, a 1973 Ford...
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Insurance investigator Maindrian Pace and his team lead double-lives as unstoppable car thieves. When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one, a 1973 Ford Mustang, are in the bag. As Pace prepares to rip-off the fastback, codenamed "Eleanor", in Long Beach, he is unaware that his boss has tipped off the police after a business dispute. Detectives are waiting and pursue Pace through five cities as he desperately tries to get away. Written by
The complete list of 48 cars stolen by Maindrian and his crew for the contract, with the celebrity/business owners, where applicable, is as follows (pieced together from the blackboard in Maindrian's office and the list he gives Atlee and Stanley, as well as dialog throughout the film):
1. Donna: 1973 Stutz Blackhawk (Florence-Western Medical Center)
2. Karen: 1973 Stutz Blackhawk (The Upstairs Art Gallery)
3. Marilyn: 1970 De Tomaso Mangusta
4. Judy: 1962 Ferrari 340 America
5. Kathy: 1970 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow I
6. Nancy: 1971 Cadillac Eldorado
7. Terry: 1971 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow I (Willie Davis)
At the accident scene opposite the freeway offramp, a police officer is scene getting out of his car and running over. In an earlier shot, you can see his patrol car is already there and he is not inside. See more »
It's amazing what could be done with a tiny budget and no digital effects. I watched this after having seen the trashy remake, and expected a similar degree of dumb wisecracks and hackneyed sub-plots.
I was impressed, however, to discover real talent behind the camera. The plot is simple: a car thief has to steal 40 fancy cars in a very short time. Using a combination of skill, insider knowledge of the insurance business and just sheer brass, the protagonist and his pals start their automotive harvest. Everything seems done and taken care of, when everything goes to hell at the last moment, leading to what surely be the longest car chase put to film.
The best thing about this movie is its low-budget feel. Many of the early scenes are almost mimed, with voices overdubbed later; you don't see actual dialogue, just hear it on top of the action. But as things progress, it begins to show more polish, and by the time we get to the big chase, you get what appears to be the entire 7th Cavalry Division in squad cars chasing one li'l yellow Mustang.
A very smart touch during the big chase was to frequently cut to the aftermath of car crashes, with wounded cops and civilians being dragged from burning cars and hustled away in ambulances -- it added an edge to the film, to show there are actually consequences to these actions (and how often is that shown on the big screen?).
Aside from the marvelously-choreographed action sequences, there are many moments of great wit, which I won't describe so's not to spoil them.
All in all, a brilliant piece of film-making, made not with glitz, glamor, star-power or special effects -- just sheer talent (and pretty cars, o'course!).
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