Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers is mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best, the only thing that is holding them back is money to build the best vehicle...
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When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one is in the bag - thereby, the police precipitate in a desperate car chase against Pace and his Eleanor across Southern California.
Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers is mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best, the only thing that is holding them back is money to build the best vehicle possible. As such, they decide to rob a supermarket's office of the money in its safe to pursue their dream. On the most part, their robbery is successful, although their plan breaks down in its end phase, which doesn't allow them as much getaway time as they wanted. Another problem they face is an unexpected third person in their getaway, Larry's one night stand Mary Coombs, who doesn't like the fact that Larry ran off on her, although she eventually also says that she doesn't want any of the money. With a police scanner and two-way radio in their souped up Dodge Charger, they try to outrun the police, who have an identification of their vehicle, and a general description of the three. The police pursuit is led by the tenacious Sheriff Everett Franklin, who knows he and his team can catch them, ...Written by
When Deke is replacing a tire on the yellow Dodge Charger, the reflection of the camera crew can clearly be seen in the driver's-side door. See more »
[in car speeding towards opening drawbridge]
Hey, wait a minute... why aren't we slowing down?
She doesn't know me very well, does she, Deke?
Not likely she ever will with about one second to live.
See more »
Several scenes cut from the original theatrical release were re-inserted for some television cuts of the film: Among these is a scene in the walnut grove after the collision with the fruit truck where Mary (Susan George) chides Larry (Peter Fonda) about not being literate enough to understand a quote from a book. Another occurs where four hoods at the swap meet are being interviewed by the police after Larry, Mary, and Deke tear off in the souped up Dodge Charger. The houdlums stall the officer's questions by commenting back and forth about what kind of engine was in the Charger. See more »
Ostensibly a mindless, flashy car-chase-&-crash B-flick has all the usual drive-in elements, but there's more going on here than at first appears. Two NASCAR enthusiasts, needing to buy a new entry vehicle, concoct an elaborate plan to rob a grocery store; Larry is the talent behind the wheel, Deke is the contemplative brains of the outfit. Soon they're saddled with good-time girl Mary, stubborn and sassy, who proves her mettle on a wild ride getting out of town. From Richard Unekis' book "The Chase", with a plot that is exactly that, yet the script by Leigh Chapman and Antonio Santean is surprisingly funny and literate and John Hough's direction is exceptionally tight with very little nonsense. Peter Fonda is appropriately manic, loose and shaggy, and Susan George has fun playing low-class (she has a tough time camouflaging her British accent, but it passes); every time Mary uses her brains, it provides more shading and substance in the character. Adam Roarke is a revelation as accomplice Deke, a sensitive, complicated man with heart and soul; he's not above larceny--he even masterminds it--but he's a thinker, and a realist. This film should have broken Roarke as a star in Hollywood, he is incredibly good. Vic Morrow has the standard role of the lawman on the trio's trail (he plays cat-and-mouse with them, and vice-versa, which is routine) and it's nice to see Roddy McDowall in a non-hysterical role as the supermarket manager. The chases are terrifically charged with adrenaline and excitement, and while the character animosities are trivial, the movie is stylish and wire-drawn. Apparently a big hit with Quentin Tarantino, who used a film-clip in his "Jackie Brown" (and adopted this picture's violent, jokey tone as well). Good show: *** from ****
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