7.2/10
323,082
447 user 132 critic

Speed (1994)

Trailer
2:38 | Trailer
A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.

Director:

Jan de Bont

Writer:

Graham Yost
Reviews
Popularity
1,456 ( 898)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keanu Reeves ... Jack Traven
Dennis Hopper ... Howard Payne
Sandra Bullock ... Annie
Joe Morton ... Capt. McMahon
Jeff Daniels ... Harry
Alan Ruck ... Stephens
Glenn Plummer ... Jaguar Owner
Richard Lineback ... Norwood
Beth Grant ... Helen
Hawthorne James ... Sam
Carlos Carrasco ... Ortiz
David Kriegel David Kriegel ... Terry
Natsuko Ohama Natsuko Ohama ... Mrs. Kamino
Daniel Villarreal ... Ray
Simone Gad ... Bus Passenger #1
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Storyline

When a young Los Angeles police department, Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) officer called Jack Traven angers retired Atlanta police department bomb squad member Howard Payne, by foiling his attempt at taking hostages stuck in an elevator with a bomb, Payne in retaliation arms a bus with a bomb that will explode if it drops below 50 miles per hour. With the help of spunky passenger Annie, Jack and his partner Detective Harry Temple try to save the people on the bus before the bomb goes off, while also trying to figure out how Payne is monitoring them. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Get ready for rush hour.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

(Rated R for violence and language) | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jan de Bont cast Dennis Hopper because he didn't want a typical villain. He wanted Payne to be a regular guy who just snapped one day. See more »

Goofs

A film truck is reflected in the bus's bumper when Jack exits and steps onto the Suburban. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Workman: Hey, this area's restricted.
Howard Payne: Oh, hi. Yeah, I know. They called me down here. Some of this wiring got screwed up.
Workman: Nobody called it down to me. I'm going to have to see a work order.
Howard Payne: Yeah, just a second. There you are.
[stabs workman in the ear with a screwdriver]
Howard Payne: Nothing personal.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Theatrical version had the 1981 20th Century Fox logo at the opening. All VHS, Laserdisc and DVD versions plaster this with the 1994 CGI logo (with the 1981 fanfare) that was used until 2009. However, the Blu-ray release restores the original 1981 logo. See more »

Connections

Featured in Shameful Sequels: Speed 2: Cruise Control (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Speed
Written by Billy Idol and Steve Stevens
Produced by Ralph Sall, Billy Idol and Steve Stevens
Performed by Billy Idol
Courtesy of Chrysalis / EMI Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
Thoroughly entertaining
1 March 2005 | by jeremyglickSee all my reviews

Speed is one of my favorite action movies of all time, just a notch below contemporaries like Terminator 2 and Die Hard. The premise is so simple that it's almost a parody of movie pitches (Homer Simpson's line was "I saw this movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city, keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would explode! I think it was called 'The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down'."). Fortunately this film came to be much better than the sum of its parts, and it's deservedly remembered as one of the most entertaining films of the 90s.

What distinguishes Speed is its humanity, due in no small part to the character of Annie (Sandra Bullock). The best example of this is the moment when Annie, while driving the bus, thinks she has struck a baby stroller. She becomes so distraught that she lets go of the steering wheel, never mind the fact that she is in charge of driving a bomb-laden bus through the L.A. suburbs. It's one of several moments that draw us into the film by helping us identify with the characters, and it's all the more elegant for its simplicity. This movie isn't complex, but it doesn't claim to be.

There is a certain irony that Speed succeeds so well on a human level, since Jan de Bont is not generally considered an "actor's director". He started as a cinematographer, and even when he talks about directing he discusses technical aspects and seldom mentions working with actors. Nowhere was this more evident than Speed 2, which pretty much killed his directorial career. Given that, it's all the more remarkable what he pulled off in the original Speed, as everything seemed to come together for him.

The overall performances really serve this picture well. Keanu is at his best (which is to say, mediocre), Sandra launched a career based on this movie, and Dennis Hopper did a wonderful job as the sardonic villain. Plus he has one of my favorite bad-guy lines of all time (Traven: "You're crazy." Payne: "Poor people are crazy, Jack. I'm eccentric.").

8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,456,194, 12 June 1994

Gross USA:

$121,248,145

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$350,448,145
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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