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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:

5 October 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Driver See more »


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
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The scene in which 'The Driver' is asked to prove his skills in the covered car park, by precisely demolishing a Mercedes, is copied almost identically, to the second, in the Bollywood hit Qurbani (1980). See more »


(at around 1h 16 mins) The piles of trash that both cars crash through would not be allowed blocking a working commercial railroad siding, which it is, judging by the condition of the rails and the merchandise stacked on the loading docks alongside it. See more »


The Detective: Let me straighten up your little corduroy jacket.
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 48 Hrs. (1982) See more »


One Fine Day
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
Attributed to Linda Ronstadt (http://everything.explained.at/One_Fine_Day_(song)); original version by The Chiffons
Heard just prior to the first chase
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the greatest action movies I've ever seen, with car chases as exciting as any filmed before or since.
27 February 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

How underrated is Walter Hill?! 'The Driver' is one of his least known movies to a mainstream audience, but one of his best loved among fans. It's one of the greatest action movies I've ever seen, with car chases as exciting as any filmed before or since. The characters are all archetypes and named after their roles. There's no traditional character development here, but the actors and the action get the point across. Ryan O'Neal plays a getaway driver, the best in his field. Bruce Dern is the cop obsessed with catching him. He's willing to do anything to do so, even setting him up. I'm a major fan of Dern. I think he's one of the most interesting Hollywood actors and 'The Driver' is yet another great performance from him an a career filled with them ('The Wild Angels', 'Bloody Mama', 'Silent Running', 'Coming Home',etc.etc.) And Ryan O'Neal, an actor I've never warmed to, is surprisingly effective is a role originally intended for Steve McQueen. Plus you get Isabelle Adjani ('The Tenant'), always a pleasure to watch. I'd put 'The Driver' up there with the original versions of 'Vanishing Point', 'The Getaway' and 'Gone In 60 Seconds' as the most underrated action thrillers of the 1970s. Why it has yet to be remade is a mystery, but hoping it isn't as it will undoubtedly suck. Hollywood just seems to have lost the ability to make these kinds of movies. 'The Driver' is expertly directed by Walter Hill, who also scripted. Also check out 'The Warriors' and 'Southern Comfort' for the best of Hill. He's a hell of a film maker and rarely gets the attention he deserves.

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