Over decades of car chases, it’s really difficult to just pick a few good ones because there are literally hundreds of movie car chases that are awesome to watch.
However, I’ve narrowed it down to seven of the best.
Warning: You may be compelled to watch all of these movies – even the ones you’ve already seen. Some car crashes, both cars go airborne more than once down the streets of San Francisco, a motorcycle wipes out, the lead car and the chase car crash into each other a few times, there are gunshots by the “bad guys”, and finally at the very end Steve McQueen is victorious as the hit men crash and their Dodge Charger explodes. It’s one of those chase scenes that has you on the edge of your seat as you’re glued to the screen.
“The French Connection” (1971)
“The French Connection” has one of the greatest car chase scenes of all time. In fact it’s unique in that there’s only one car involved in the chase. Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (played by Gene Hackman) is chasing a hit man that on a train that’s on an elevated track.
In the chase Hackman crashes at least three times, but keeps going. He has countless close calls. During this time period, the hit man has shot two people at two different times, bringing panic to the passengers on the train. He also has hijacked the train and ultimately crashes into a stopped train on the tracks.
At then end, Hackman ends up catching up with him and shooting him, but this is an awesome scene!
“The Blues Brothers” (1980)
The final car chase in “The Blues Brothers” has to be mentioned in the “best” list. At the end, the Blues Brothers (played by John Belushi and Dan Akroyd) are being chased by dozens of police cars all at the same time.
They can’t get caught until they deliver the money they’ve collected to the tax assessor to complete their “mission of God”. By the time they make it to City Hall, there are hundreds of police officers, special agents, etc. chasing them.
It’s done is a very comical way and inside City Hall, the Blues Brothers calmly take the elevator to the floor they need as there’s chaos on the outside. They get a chance to pay the money and complete their mission and are arrested immediately after.
It’s exciting, but kind of a spoof on car chases all at the same time.
Though this is one of the newer great car chases, it’s still considered a classic.
The car chase in “Ronin” (starring Robert De Niro) is short, but there’s lots of action all around it. In the entire scene you see Robert De Niro blow up two different vehicles with a bazooka, you see a couple of good shootouts, and the cars involved in the chase not only become airborne a couple of times, but they also go through different types of terrain such as dirt roads, city streets, and alleys.
It’s really cool and a must see!
“Vanishing Point” (1971)
If you can get past the corny music, the car chase scene with Kowalski escaping from the cops is great.
The first thing he does at the beginning of the chase is make a U-turn and head right toward the squad car. Ultimately he gets away.
“Smokey and the Bandit” (1977)
You can’t have a “best car chase list” without mentioning “Smokey and the Bandit”.
The better part of the last half of the movie is one big car chase scene.
A lot of people today look at it as “cheesy”, but back in 1977 it was exciting.
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
The original “Gone in 60 Seconds” has one of the most memorable car chase scenes of all time.
It lasts for about 40 minutes of the movie and stars the 1974 Ford Mustang Mach 1 (code name “Eleanor”).
In this car chase 93 cars were wrecked!
- Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) – Car chase – Part I of III
- Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) – Car chase – Part II of III
- Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) – Car chase – Part III of III