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The Driver (1978)

"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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Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward


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


"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


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


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 October 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Driver  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)


$4,905,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sylvester Stallone was in talks for this film. He turned it down, as he was busy with F.I.S.T. (1978). See more »


When the Driver first takes off in the red truck, you can clearly see him working a floor mounted gearshift (almost falling into the dashboard during one shift)... later during the chase sequence, the close-up cuts to him working a column shifter, then back to a floor shifter in wider shots. See more »


The Detective: [the Driver has just been caught redhanded retrieving the money bag from the train station locker.] Caught ya.
The Detective: [the Driver hands the bag to the Detective, who smilingly opens it. His smile disappears: it's empty.] What happened?
The Driver: Looks like we both got swindled.
The Detective: Looks like we both got ripped off. By the Exchange Man.
The Driver: Lotta crooks around these days.
[walks away.]
See more »


Referenced in 48 Hrs. (1982) See more »


Help Yourselves To Each Other
Written by McDill and Allen Reynolds
Performed by Don Williams
Heard when the Player visits the Driver
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Real High Point In Walter Hill's Career!
26 July 2005 | by (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

THE DRIVER (4+ outta 5 stars) Classic, no-nonsense, action-chase movie about a professional getaway driver (Ryan O'Neal) and the obsessed cop (Bruce Dern) who is determined to see him behind bars. Terrific chase scenes highlight this unjustly-neglected modern day film noir. No one plays nutty, obsessed characters quite like Bruce Dern. Ryan O'Neal as the bad guy/hero shows even less emotion than he did in Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon"... he's often accused of non-acting but I think his low-key, taciturn performance here is mesmerizing. He may as well be driving down to the corner store for a carton of milk rather than eluding a dozen speeding police cars. Isabelle Adjani doesn't really have much to do in this movie but look beautiful... but I guess that's enough. There is not a lot of dialogue and not a lot of character development. The characters in this movie aren't even given names! They are merely listed as The Driver, The Detective, The Player, The Connection, etc. This is a real high point in the career of director Walter Hill. He may have had more financial success with "The Warriors" and "48 Hours" but I think this is his best, most fully realized action movie.

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