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The Driver (1978)

7.2
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"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 ... See full summary »

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Title: The Driver (1978)

The Driver (1978) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
The Player
...
The Connection
...
Red Plainclothesman
Felice Orlandi ...
Gold Plainclothesman
Joseph Walsh ...
Glasses
...
Teeth
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:

He'll get you away faster than anyone else on wheels. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Driver  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 2,958,988 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cheryl Smith had a sizable co-starring role in the original longer cut of the film, but the subplot involving her character wound up being excised and subsequently all of her scenes got cut out as well. Director Walter Hill regretted cutting these scenes and spoke favorably about Smith's acting skills. See more »

Goofs

After the bank job, when the Driver is escaping in the red truck, the camera is reflected in the glass of the truck's back window. It's on a tripod in the truck bed, covered with a blanket. See more »

Quotes

The Driver: You know I don't like guns.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

One Fine Day
(uncredited)
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
Attributed to Linda Ronstadt (http://everything.explained.at/One_Fine_Day_(song)); original version by The Chiffons
Heard just prior to the first chase
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An overlooked film on an under-rated director's filmography.
14 January 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Action specialist Walter Hill is in his element here with this tense, entertaining thriller that he both wrote and directed. Ryan O'Neal stars as a getaway driver for hire, who is hounded by offbeat detective Bruce Dern. Dern is dying to righteously bust O'Neal for something, but O'Neal is simply very good at his job. The detective will resort to any method necessary, but the driver is smart and seemingly always one step ahead of him.

One can hardly fail to notice the way that Hill deliberately doesn't personalize his characters too much, giving them descriptions or nicknames rather than proper names. And with the help of his very able cast, they create some very good character moments that are the real meat of this story. Its car chases are among the best you'll see in this genre, but serve to support the story instead of the story setting up the action set pieces. Hill again recalls styles from films of earlier decades - while, for example, his "Streets of Fire" was an ode to '50s rock 'n'roll, this film does owe a fair bit to the film noir of the '40s.

The people who populate this story are often all business, especially The Driver, who lives by his own code. There are things he'll do and things he won't do. Among other things, he employs a "witness" (French beauty Isabelle Adjani) and works with a "connection" (Ronee Blakley) who comes to him with job offers. The actors are all great, with the supporting cast also including Matt Clark and Felice Orlandi as Derns' fellow detectives, Joseph Walsh and Rudy Ramos as thieving lowlifes, and Bob Minor & Peter Jason in bit parts.

This tale is taut and convincing, told in a straightforward yet compelling manner; technically it's expertly done, with excellent editing by Tina Hirsch & Robert K. Lambert, cinematography by Philip H. Lathrop, and music by Michael Small. Hill's screenplay is full of interesting dialogue, especially in exchanges between Dern and Clark.

Hill has certainly done many fine and entertaining movies over the years, but this is one that tends to get overshadowed by his bigger hits such as "48 Hrs". It's a little gem worthy of discovery or re-discovery.

Eight out of 10.


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