5.4/10
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21 user 30 critic

Grand Theft Auto (1977)

PG | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 16 June 1977 (USA)
A rich girl steals her dad's Rolls Royce and heads off to Las Vegas to get married. However, her angry parents, a jealous suitor, and a bunch of reward seekers are determined to stop her.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sam Freeman
...
Paula Powers
Elizabeth Rogers ...
Priscilla Powers
Barry Cahill ...
Bigby Powers
...
Ned Slinker
...
Collins Hedgeworth
...
Vivian Hedgeworth
Don Steele ...
Curly Q. Brown
Peter Isacksen ...
Sparky
...
Ace
James Ritz ...
Officer Tad (as Jim Ritz)
...
Preacher
Lew Brown ...
Jack Klepper
...
Eagle I
...
Shadley
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Storyline

Paula Powers, daughter of wealthy gubernatorial candidate Bigby Powers, decides to reject her parents' attempt at matchmaking and run off to Vegas to marry her sweetheart, Sam Freeman. As they drive away in a stolen Rolls-Royce, spurned suitor Collins Hedgeworth follows behind in hot pursuit, along with a cadre of goons hoping to get the $25,000 reward that's been offered for Paula's return. Can the young lovers make it to Vegas for a quickie wedding before the forces of conformity and privilege arrive to put a stop to their romance? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See the greatest cars in the world destroyed!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy autólopás  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$602,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a promotion for this movie, "16" magazine ran a contest and the winner received a trip to Hollywood and a bit part in the film. Her name was Caryn and she was the girl who catches the bouquet at Paula and Sam's wedding. See more »

Goofs

The white foam or water that is sprayed on the window of the Rolls Royce completely disappears minutes after. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Paula has brought Sam to her home]
Priscilla Powers: Aagh! Paula, how could you do this?
Paula Powers: Come on, mom, PLEASE don't be so dramatic!
Priscilla Powers: I have been planning for months the weddings of you and Collins Hedgeworth.
Paula Powers: No, mother! He didn't ask me, he asked *you*!
Bigby Powers: Shut up, young lady! Just sit down and sit your lips. You are engaged to Collins Hedgeworth.
Bigby Powers: [to Sam] Did you know, that she was engaged to Collins Hedgeworth?
Sam Freeman: Sir, I realize, that there is a conflict, but...
Bigby Powers: [to Priscilla] You see, he understands...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AmeriCarna: Hot Rods and Dragsters (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Thief
furnished courtesy of Windfall Music and Lotus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fasten your seat-belts.
12 May 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

A young couple Sam and Paula are planning to be hitched, but when they confront Paula's influential parents about it. They won't have any of it, and beg her to marry the snobby, rich Colin. Instead she and Sam steal her father's Rolls Royce and head to Las Vegas to elope. From this a large road chase eventuates with Colin calling a radio station to announce a $25,000 reward for Paula. While on their tails, Colin's mother Vivian joins in with another $25,000 for his return. Soon Paula's father has got out the big guns to stop them, while plenty of nutty people join in chase for the doe and the local radio station DJ happens to be commentating the action in a hovering helicopter.

Just sit back, and soak it all up. Following the success of Ron Howard's starring vehicle "Eat My Dust". Another chance was on offer, and this follow up had Ron Howard kicking off his directorial debut under the watchful eye of producer Roger Corman and what we get is purely light-headed fun with non-stop bustle and chaos ensured. This tight budget drive-in, b-film is a madcap chase comedy all the way, which is ebulliently staged and provides such a rush due to Howard's concisely economical and desirable direction. The animatedly mindless screenplay, which is penned by Ron and his father Rance Howard crackles with plenty of freedom to cluster and stretch out the story with mini sub-plots, clever visual gags, highly witty dialogues and a circus show of colourful characters. The concept is simple, old-school and cartoonish, but Howard's knowledgeable timing and honest tailoring lets the film open up naturally with its crackerjack pacing that never lets the momentum slip and expansively robust and tightly choreographed stunts that lead onto a smash-a-thon of fast and stolen motor vehicles ending in flourish of explosions. Howard captures many well-displayed images. Helping out behind the scenes, is that of Joe Dante's airtight, sped-up editing to Gary Graver' sharply inventive cinematography and giving the film some heart is the casually, cosy music score that can spruce up when needed. Being shot on location in open desert back roads gave it a down 'n' dirty feel of authenticity. Attached to it are joyful performances from the entire cast who like to gesture a lot. Nancy Morgan shines excellently in a sprightly cheeky turn as Paula and Ron Howard amusedly sits on cruise control as Sam. The Corman-regulars that co-star on this one range from the eccentrically self-absorbed performance by a fantastic Don Steele, Clint Howard, Rance Howard and a minor appearance by Paul Bartel. Marion Ross and Paul Linke are a riot as Vivian and Collin Hedgeworth. Playing Paula's snotty parents are the enjoyably comic Elizabeth Rogers and Barry Cahill. Also Jim Ritz, Hoke Howell and Garry Marshall give capable, snappy and crazy support. Oh, they don't make 'em like this anymore. Man, these type of spirited features really put these wannabe shallow Hollywood dosh to shame. Something about these outings just seem to stay fresh.

"Grand Theft Auto" is a groovy, no-nonsense splurge into high-octane overload, which is considerably well executed with clarity and precision for what it is. So go ahead and floor it for one pleasurable and fulfilling genre romp.


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