It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving, you can’t help but admire the feats that have been achieved by others behind the wheel. And what better feats than those in movies? With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the all-time best car stunts ever performed in films. Take a look at our list in descending order below:
5. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
The big stunt in this James Bond film is, of course, the barrel roll jump over a river in Thailand. The 1974 AMC Hornet X was launched off of a slanted ramp by British stunt driver, “Bumps” Willard, causing the car to corkscrew in mid-air. It was the first car stunt to require the use of a computer in editing, since it happened so quickly that the film had to be slowed down. They got the shot in one take, and Top Gear has since claimed that it cannot be reproduced. The only thing stopping this stunt from ranking more highly in our list is the fact that, during the editing, someone saw fit to add a comedy whistle sound effect! Our advice? Watch with the sound turned down.
4. Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Although there are several parts of this scene which were produced by CGI (the character, Trinity, is being chased by ghost-like, digital figures which can travel through objects, among other things), it gets a mention because the location was a purpose-built “motorway” in an airfield.
Within four minutes, the sequence manages to pack in multiple car rolls, animated explosions, a motorbike driving off the roof of a truck to weave between motorway traffic, a shootout and a cars being destroyed by samurai swords. It brought new meaning to the word “spectacular” and showed off ground-breaking film techniques.
3. Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Strip back the garish ‘in your face’ style of the film, including the “individual” car designs, and you’re left with a large array of driving stunts to choose from. Whether viewing “drifts” through the busy streets of Tokyo, how the cars negotiate twisting mountain roads or crashes when it all goes wrong: you are left with a thrilling spectacle.
Perhaps the best of all the car stunts featured in the movie is a drift around a curved multi-story car park ramp. Whilst not perhaps the most daring or dramatic on this list, the sheer precision and execution is enough to make the cut!
2. The Italian Job (1969)
There are a host of driving stunts to choose from in the Italian Job, and this coupled with the iconic original Mini Coopers and legendary actor Michael Caine, meant that we had to give it a high spot in our Top 5. These stunts were some of the first film work for French motocross champion, Remy Julienne and team.
The most dangerous stunt driving they carried out was driving the Minis at 75 mph into a hollowed out coach, travelling at 50 mph, only to drop them out of the coach over cliff-sides, one-by-one. There were several arguments between stunt team and film engineers due to the likelihood the Mini tyres would explode inside the coach, but after safety tests they were convinced. Fortunately there was an unopened stretch of motorway close to central Turin to complete the initial feat, but this was nothing compared to the act of removing them again! They shot normal Minis (rather than the Coopers) out of the back of the coach using a pressure cannon and had to collect all of the broken pieces from the St Bernard’s Valley at the end.
1. Ronin (1998)
Starring Robert DeNiro and Jean Reno, Ronin is an action packed thriller with car chases through Paris and Nice. The film creates a sense of reality that heightens the sense of drama for the viewer because, rather than choosing a single viewpoint for the camera, award winning director, John Frankenheimer, includes multiple viewpoints, close-ups and angles from both inside and outside the cars. The BMW vs Peugeot scene below is packed full of precision driving down narrow streets and tunnels full of other cars and pedestrians. There are multiple car stunts with crashes and explosions as they weave through oncoming traffic and one of the vehicles falls off a bridge at the end. This would be impressive enough, but when you include the fact that camera cars followed at equally high speeds to capture the footage, it clinches the number one spot in our movie car stunt round-up.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our choices and have time to appreciate the video from Ronin, below. Of course don’t try any of the above at home, but if you have put your car through an accidental “stunt” recently and need a scratch, dent or alloy repair, then please fill out the form on the right and one of the ChipsAway specialists will be in touch for a free no obligation quote.