103 user 106 critic

The Driver (1978)

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


Walter Hill


Walter Hill




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


To break the driver, the cop was willing to break the law. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Isabelle Adjani later complained she felt the film hurt her career. "Afterwards the only American offers I got were bad ones," she said. "I did it, really because after The Story of Adele H (1975) everyone urged me to make a Hollywood film. I turned down several, and felt I couldn't continue to do that. And I liked Walter Hill. Only later did I realize I'd made a terrible mistake." See more »


Camera shadow is visible on the wooden banister when Teeth falls down the stairs after the Driver punches him. 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

A version of The Driver seen on TV years ago included a pre-credit prologue, in which Bruce Dern's and Matt Clark's characters meet for the first time, and Ronee Blakley gives Isabelle Adjani her assignment as an alibi. The CBS/Fox home video version begins abruptly with the opening credits, omitting this prologue. See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #8.37 (2011) 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 »

User Reviews

Listed by Quentin Tarantino as one of the coolest movies of all time. "So cool, so cool, so cool".
25 February 2019 | by imseegSee all my reviews

The story: a specialist heist driver must endure the heat of a dirty cop, played excellently by Bruce Dern. Will the heist driver be able to pull of another bank heist without getting caught?

Terrific car chases. No f ing CGI stuff. Real deal car chase mania.If only for those chases this movie, would be worth the watch. But story and acting are good as well, making it a classic thriller. This original movie from the seventies, which oscar winning "Drive" with Ryan Gosling was based on, still stands strong after all these decades. Some scenes out of "Drive" have been literally copied from this movie.

The theme of a cool, calm and collected lone driver is still as powerful as it was decades ago. Yes, ofcourse it has the dated look and sound of a seventies movie, but that doesnt interfere with the thrilling cool story. Ryan O Neal acts very powerful and gives a menacing, cool look that I didnt expect to see from such a gentle looking face. Really enjoyed this back to the seventies trip with this COOL thriller, that was listed by Quentin Tarantino as one of the coolest movies of all time.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 103 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed