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The Driver (1978)

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




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Cast overview, first billed only:
... The Driver
... The Detective
... The Player
... The Connection
... Red Plainclothesman
... Gold Plainclothesman
... Glasses
... Teeth
Denny Macko ... Exchange Man
... The Kid
Will Walker ... Fingers
Sandy Brown Wyeth ... Split
Tara King ... Frizzy
Richard Carey ... Floorman
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


A Game ... A Challenge ... A Chase to the Death! See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 October 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Driver  »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 »


When The Driver elegantly destroys the Mercedes, there is a quick shot where the car hits a wall head-on, then reverses away. The stunt driver is visible as his blond wig almost falls off. See more »


The Detective: Planning on looking for work soon?
The Driver: My line of work is kind of hard to come by.
The Detective: It depends on where you look.
The Driver: It depends on who you are.
The Detective: I dunno. Some of the criminal types these days, they, eh, think that they're real cowboys. Think they can just, eh, drive around...do whatever they wanna do...whenever they wanna do it.
The Detective: I respect a man who's good at what he does. I'll tell you something else: I'm *very* good at what I do.
See more »


Referenced in Cinemassacre's Top 10 Car Chases (2008) 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

No Names Please!
4 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

There is no baloney in this surprisingly good movie (it's not well-known). It also sports a real oddity: no one's name is mentioned in the entire film! Try to think of any other film you've ever seen where this is the case.

Why 'The Driver" is not better known is a mystery since the director (Walter Hill) and main actors (Ryan O'Neal and Bruce Dern) are well-known entities.

Maybe because Ryan, who people think of more as the likable male in the immensely popular "Love Story," "Paper Moon" and "Barry Lyndon" plays against type, playing an ultra-serious criminal. Make no mistake: he does it well. He is a man of few words in this movie and he handles that in a fascinating manner. Dern is always interesting. Isabelle Adjani, more famous as a French actress, is nice to ogle and she, too, doesn't say much in this film.

The rest of the characters in this "neo noir" are a bunch of nasties, giving that edgy feel.

If you like film noir and particularly if you like car-chase scenes, well, this movie is must-have, because there are several intense chase scenes in here and they are long. They're also well-photographed, fun to watch and certainly keep your attention.

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