102 user 104 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


He's the best getaway man in the business...and the deadliest. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In the novelization there is a long segment with the young bank robber Fingers (Will Walker) who is shot; but he doesn't die. He goes home and is suffering and being helped by his girlfriend. Since Walter Hill had said that Cheryl Smith had deleted scenes, she most likely played that character. See more »


During the bank robbery, one of the men fires off a shot (you can see the recoil and casing flying through the air) but no sound is heard. See more »


The Detective: How old are you? Twenty-two. I did a little checking.
The Player: What else did you check?
The Detective: Well, a girl as young as yourself, you sure have been around the track a few times, honey. Led a real active life.
The Player: Get out!
The Detective: No. We're going to do a little business, you and I.
[shows her a photo of The Driver]
The Detective: Look at it! Are you sure it's not him?
The Player: It's not him.
The Detective: Oh, really? Maybe you should be afraid of me. I ran a make on you.
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 »


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

Entertaining while it lasts, but ultimately rather pointless.
7 October 1999 | by RayBSee all my reviews

Mean cop Bruce Dern on the trail of cool get-away driver Ryan O'Neal. Pretty good, as these things go.

Both O'Neal and side-kick Adjani are not overly taxed by their roles - each maintains a fixed facial expression throughout the entire film and their characters' dialogue consists largely of isolated words or, occasionally, sentences - but their performances are adequate. Dern's cop could have been similarly spare but somehow he manages to inject some interest - even humour - into a character a lesser actor would have rendered merely unpleasant.

On first viewing the plot seems fairly involved and almost believable. On second viewing, however, it is apparent that there is less here than meets the eye. Dern's 'rogue cop' tactics aren't really credible, the O'Neal character's motivation seems confused, and Adjani appears to be along just for the ride.

The film does have style, though. The car chases are fairly exciting - particularly a low-speed cat-and-mouse sequence in a large warehouse. Dern gives value for money, and Adjani is very pretty.

But at the closing credits the viewer is left thinking 'is that it?' As is so often the case with seventies 'cop movies' it all seems - to be blunt - rather empty and pointless.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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