The Driver (1978) - Plot Summary Poster



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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 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.

  • In Los Angeles, a mysterious driver (Ryan O'Neal) is a sad man of few words that drives getaway car in robberies. One day, he participates of a heist of a casino and a player (Isabelle Adjani) is the main witness. However, she tells to the detective (Bruce Dern) in charge of the investigation that the suspect is not the driver of the getaway car. The detective becomes obsessed to arrest the driver and he seeks out a gang that has robbed a supermarket and promises to "forgive" their heist if they help him to arrest the driver in a bank robbery. But the player helps the driver to exchange the dirty money.

  • In Los Angeles, a young man, a getaway Driver for hire, is confident in his abilities which includes being able to outwit those who may be in pursuit, most likely the police. As such, he has professional standards, can pick and choose which jobs he will do, can command top dollar for his services, and has never been caught with the police not knowing who he is. He has a Handler, she who organizes those behind-the-scenes items that his associates do not need to know for him to carry out his work successfully. She has however stated that she will not risk her life for him. He will not tolerate associates who do not carry out the robberies according to plan. It is because of one of those errors by his associates in carrying out a casino robbery that the Driver knows that one of the casino Players got a good glimpse of him before he was able to get away. The Driver will have to understand and work to the motivations of the Player to elude capture. A police Detective investigating the casino robbery is however certain that the Driver was involved in the casino robbery, as well as was the getaway driver for several other high stakes robberies, this certainty about which he is up front with the Driver. He will have to get a positive identification from the Player for a conviction specifically for the casino robbery. In addition, the Detective decides he will set up an unauthorized sting to nab the Driver in action. The sting involves co-opting captured robbers to carry out a real life robbery, with them hiring the Driver to orchestrate and conduct the getaway. Despite the Detective being confident that the sting will work, his police associates are less confident, they knowing that anything going wrong, including anyone being able to get away with the money and/or someone innocent being killed, will certainly mean their badges. The Driver, who knows that the Detective is out for him, has to decide how much he will risk for the bigger than usual reward, which includes knowing that he outwitted the Detective at his own game.



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