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.
Insurance investigator Maindrian Pace and his team lead double-lives as unstoppable car thieves. When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one, a 1973 Ford Mustang, are in the bag. As Pace prepares to rip-off the fastback, codenamed "Eleanor", in Long Beach, he is unaware that his boss has tipped off the police after a business dispute. Detectives are waiting and pursue Pace through five cities as he desperately tries to get away.Written by
Director/star H.B. Halicki compacted ten vertebrae performing the "big jump" in the Mustang at the end of the movie. Fortunately the injury was not very serious, although according to director of photography Jack Vacek, Halicki never walked the same again. See more »
Maindrian narrowly misses hitting a white van when speeding out of Prince Chrysler-Plymouth in the tow truck, and waits until it passes before continuing. When the security car follows, the van is back next to the driveway, stopped. See more »
[Mustang crashes into a light pole]
Jesus Christ, he just hit a damn pole! Turn aroud, turn around! We've got him now!
Male police dispatcher:
Attention all units, suspect vehicle has TA'd with light pole at Harbor Freeway northbound and Carson Street offramp. Pursuit is terminated.
[Mustang roars off up offramp]
Male police dispatcher:
That is negative - pursuit is not terminated, repeat, not terminated.
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The opening credits stop after only one acting credit: "Eleanor." See more »
The Norweigian version, at least when released theatrically, concluded at the end of the "big jump" scene, where Eleanor spins out to the song "Big Town, Big City". Everything afterward was removed, because the Norweigian censors did not want Mandarian to get away. The scene optically turns white, then cuts straight to the end credits. See more »
It's amazing what could be done with a tiny budget and no digital effects. I watched this after having seen the trashy remake, and expected a similar degree of dumb wisecracks and hackneyed sub-plots.
I was impressed, however, to discover real talent behind the camera. The plot is simple: a car thief has to steal 40 fancy cars in a very short time. Using a combination of skill, insider knowledge of the insurance business and just sheer brass, the protagonist and his pals start their automotive harvest. Everything seems done and taken care of, when everything goes to hell at the last moment, leading to what surely be the longest car chase put to film.
The best thing about this movie is its low-budget feel. Many of the early scenes are almost mimed, with voices overdubbed later; you don't see actual dialogue, just hear it on top of the action. But as things progress, it begins to show more polish, and by the time we get to the big chase, you get what appears to be the entire 7th Cavalry Division in squad cars chasing one li'l yellow Mustang.
A very smart touch during the big chase was to frequently cut to the aftermath of car crashes, with wounded cops and civilians being dragged from burning cars and hustled away in ambulances -- it added an edge to the film, to show there are actually consequences to these actions (and how often is that shown on the big screen?).
Aside from the marvelously-choreographed action sequences, there are many moments of great wit, which I won't describe so's not to spoil them.
All in all, a brilliant piece of film-making, made not with glitz, glamor, star-power or special effects -- just sheer talent (and pretty cars, o'course!).
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