7.2/10
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83 user 91 critic

The Driver (1978)

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenancious detective.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Felice Orlandi ...
Gold Plainclothesman
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Denny Macko ...
Exchange Man
Frank Bruno ...
The Kid
Will Walker ...
Fingers
Sandy Brown Wyeth ...
Split
Tara King ...
Frizzy
Richard Carey ...
Floorman
Fidel Corona ...
Card Player
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Storyline

"The Driver" is a specialist in a rare business: he drives getaway cars in robberies. His exceptional talent prevented him from being caught yet. After another successful flight from the police, a self-assured detective makes it his primary goal to catch the Driver. He promises remission of punishment to a gang if they help to convict him in a set-up robbery. The Driver seeks help from "The Player" (Isabelle) to mislead the detective. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Game ... A Challenge ... A Chase to the Death! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Driver  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,905,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Driver openly disdains the use of firearms but he is ultimately a pragmatic man and when the need arises he defends himself with a 45 caliber Wild West era Colt Peacemaker. Although an antiquated weapon for the 1970s, this is in keeping with his cowboy loner persona. See more »

Goofs

After the supermarket robbery, before Teeth shoots up the store and they all drive off, Glasses scolds his getaway driver for not opening the door. His mouth keeps moving long after his line has finished. See more »

Quotes

The Detective: That's the trouble with lowlifes... they're unreliable.
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Connections

Referenced in Driver: San Francisco (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Such a Pretty World Today
(uncredited)
Written by Dale Noe
Performed by Wynn Stewart
Heard in the Driver's first visit to his connection
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sparse Urban Magnificence.
10 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Driver is written and directed by Walter Hill. It stars Ryan O'Neil, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani and Ronee Blakley. Music is by Michael Small and cinematography by Phillip H. Lathrop.

A determined cop pursues an enigmatic getaway driver through the crooked streets of Los Angeles…

It's most amusing to now be able to look back at some of the reviews for The Driver back on its initial release. Without wishing to sound like a smarty pants myself of course, but some of them simply didn't get it, they didn't understand that Ryan O'Neil's character was meant to be one note, unreadable and dissociated from society. There is a reason that the principal characters don't have names, they are simply known as The Driver, The Detective and The Player, the core emotional worth of these people is a key aspect to the film's strength. Where The Driver is emotionless and not for shaking, The Detective is a coiled spring waiting to explode, a law enforcer willing to do anything to capture his Moby Dick.

Much of the plaudits that come the film's way tend to focus on the car action, which is perfectly understandable. The chase sequences are kinetic, the trial runs exhilarating, this is quite simply a fast car lovers dream as the stunt team lay fire to the streets of L.A. It's also an influential film into the bargain, however, this is not purely an exercise in action over substance. For sure the story line is simple, but the themes simmering away are anything but simple. The thin line between law and lawlessness is observed, between calm and chaos there is but a hair's breadth, the grey areas vivid in their textures. This is a cat and mouse thriller with a difference, even daring to risk the viewer's ire with a crafty and low-key finale.

The script is in turns laconic and hard-boiled, the screenplay surprisingly convoluted in relation to how it all pans out. While the neo-noir vibe is further enhanced by Lathrop's photography as the streetscapes pulse with urban realism. The acting doesn't have to be top notch, the characters do not call for thesping of the method or board walking kind, they just need to get a handle on their respective traits that define them, and they do, perfectly so. A supremely cool movie, exciting and brawny as well, The Driver is a neo-noir gem. 9/10


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