6.1/10
7,522
130 user 134 critic

The Car (1977)

A small desert town is terrorized by a powerful, seemingly possessed car, and the local sheriff may be the only one who can stop it.

Director:

Elliot Silverstein

Writers:

Dennis Shryack (screenplay), Michael Butler (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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ON DISC

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Brolin ... Wade Parent
Kathleen Lloyd ... Lauren
John Marley ... Everett
R.G. Armstrong ... Amos
John Rubinstein ... John Morris
Elizabeth Thompson Elizabeth Thompson ... Margie
Roy Jenson ... Ray Mott
Kim Richards ... Lynn Marie
Kyle Richards ... Debbie
Kate Murtagh ... Miss McDonald
Robert Phillips ... Metcalf
Doris Dowling ... Bertha
Henry O'Brien Henry O'Brien ... Chas
Eddie Little Sky ... Denson
Lee McLaughlin Lee McLaughlin ... Marvin Fats
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Storyline

Near the small desert town of Santa Ynez, a mysterious black car runs down two teenage bicyclers en route to camp, then it hit-and-runs a hitchhiker with local Amos Clements as witness. Sheriff Everett puts his men on alert and plants road blocks in the area to arrest the murderer, but soon he himself falls victim to the car. Sheriff Wade Parent leads the hunt for the vehicle that threatens their town and seems impossible to locate. When his beloved girlfriend, teacher Lauren Humphries, challenges the driver in a cemetery, the car hunts her in her home. Wade realizes he might be dealing with supernatural powers. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / revised by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Is it a phantom, a demon, or the Devil himself? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

-The official trailer

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wheels See more »

Filming Locations:

Snow Canyon, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main theme in the movie was a reworked version of the traditional Catholic "Dies Irae" - part of the Requiem mass. Berlioz used this theme in the 5th movement of his "Symphonie Fantastique." Many other classical composers used variations of the melody, (which was a very familiar piece) to people up through the 20th century. See more »

Goofs

During the final chase on the motorbike, it alternates from night / day. See more »

Quotes

Chas: [to Lauren, as they drive past his mobile home] Just checkin' the tipi.
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Alternate Versions

The NBC edited for TV version of this film includes some additional scenes to pad out the movie due to needed commercial breaks. The aforementioned additional scenes were during the cemetery standoff between the school band and the Car. The part where Lauren is insulting and taunting the Car is longer and there is a short dialog between her and her friend Margie planning on how one of them will run out and escape to call for help. These are not on the official 1999 DVD/VHS release. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Dead End (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Op.46: I. 'Morning'
(uncredited)
Music by Edvard Grieg
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Creepy Car of the Devil
25 September 2009 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

While traveling through the desert nearby the small town of Santa Ynez on their bicycles to camp, two teenage bicyclers are murdered by a mysterious black car. Then the car hit-and-run a hitchhiker and the crime is witnessed by the local Amos Clements (R.G. Armstrong). Sheriff Everett (John Marley) puts his men in alert and plans road blocks in the area to arrest the murderer. Sooner he becomes a victim of the car and Sheriff Wade Parent (James Brolin) begins a hunting of the vehicle that is threatening his town and seems to be impossible to be located. When his beloved girlfriend and teacher Lauren (Kathleen Lloyd) challenges the driver in a cemetery, the car hunts her in her home and Wade realizes that he might be dealing with supernatural powers.

The cult "The Car" is a supernatural tale of a creepy car that apparently might be driven by the devil himself. The entertaining story is visibly inspired in "Duel" and is inconclusive, and the viewer never knows for sure whether the car is driven by a demoniac being or by a wicked skilled driver. The havoc caused by the car is never graphic and that is a good point since the story is supported by the performances and the choreography of the stunts in the car chase. Further, thirty-two years later this movie has not aged. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "O Carro, A Máquina do Diabo" ("The Car, The Machine of the Devil")


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