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The Driver (1978)

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenacious detective.


Walter Hill


Walter Hill


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan O'Neal ... The Driver
Bruce Dern ... The Detective
Isabelle Adjani ... The Player
Ronee Blakley ... The Connection
Matt Clark ... Red Plainclothesman
Felice Orlandi ... Gold Plainclothesman
Joseph Walsh ... Glasses
Rudy Ramos ... Teeth
Denny Macko Denny Macko ... Exchange Man
Frank Bruno ... The Kid
Will Walker Will Walker ... Fingers
Sandy Brown Wyeth Sandy Brown Wyeth ... Split
Tara King Tara King ... Frizzy
Richard Carey Richard Carey ... Floorman
Fidel Corona 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


He'll get you away faster than anyone else on wheels. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

2 August 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Driver See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 »


As the two bank robbers exit the bank, you can see the Firebird used in the escape parked directly outside during one shot, and then a minute or two later, the Firebird isn't where it was in the previous scene. (It actually comes flying around the corner, skidding to a stop right where it was originally.) See more »


The Detective: [reacting sarcastically to her sullen response as she opened the door] I guess that means I can come in.
[enters, looks around]
The Detective: Nice place.
[walks toward picture window]
The Detective: Terrific view. Hah.
The Player: You didn't come here to tell me that.
The Detective: [getting to the point] You saw the man who was driving the car, and you saw the man up against the brick wall, and you know it is the same man, yet you didn't identify him. Are you afraid of him?
The Player: No.
The Detective: Are you afraid of me?
The Player: [slowly turns around] No.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Early UK cinema and video versions were cut by 18 seconds by the BBFC and completely removed the scene where Ronee Blakley has a gun forced into her mouth. This cut was waived in 2004. See more »


Referenced in The Transporter (2002) See more »


It's Such a Pretty World Today
Written by Dale Noe
Performed by Wynn Stewart
Heard in the Driver's first visit to his connection
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Walter Hill Deserve's the Most Credit
8 June 2019 | by Easygoer10See all my reviews

I like this film for simple reasons: Walter Hill had so much to do with making it. He both wrote and directed it. However, in the Trivia section here, someone mentioned Walter Hill wrote "The Getaway" (1972), starring Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw. That is absolutely incorrect. Jim Thompson wrote "The Getaway"; Hill wrote the screenplay, a significant difference. McQueen had read a 25 cent paperback copy and produced it, with Sam Peckinpah (like McQueen, another renegade himself) directed it. I want to mention McQueen and MacGraw fell in love during the making of that film, which drew even more attention to it. Although she was married to Robert Evans, the CEO of Paramount (perhaps the most powerful man in Hollywood), it didn't make any difference; that shows how much women were drawn to Steve McQueen. I don't mean to infer they weren't in love; they truly were, and got married shortly after it was released. However, my main point is not to deride Walter Hill; it is the opposite: He has made so many very good action films; whether by writing stories, screenplays, and/or directing them. I am not a huge Ryan O'Neill fan. I do respect him, and know he was in some very big hit movies in the 1970's and 1980's. Ironically, he co-starred with Ali MacGraw in "Love Story" (1970), 1 of the largest grossing films of the era. It had a very young (25 year old) Tommy Lee Jones in his very 1st role, as well. Back to this film. "The Driver" is 1 of countless "car chase" films that have been made to this day; all of which "Bullitt" (1968) started. Most people don't realize in "Bullitt", they were actually driving at full speed. They got up to 124 mph in older, heavier cars, and McQueen did most of his own driving, along with 9 of the best stunt drivers in the world. There were no real special effects (of course, no CGI) then. Regardless, "The Driver" is worth the watch. Walter Hill deserves all the credit in the world for this, and so many other (better) films. Do watch it.

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