Outstanding retro stunts without all the crazy CGI. A young Ryan O'Neal and young Bruce Dern shine in this cat and mouse game!
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Why can't we have the 131 minute version ?
Martin Montag | INTERZONE | 06/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Come on this is the cut down version which has been available on dvd in the U.K for a couple of years. At Los Angeles's American Cinemateque, a 131 minute version of "The Driver" was shown. While it does add insights to some characters in the story, this longer version features many more car chases. This is lsited at IMDB.com under alternate versions, and should be the version due for dvd release, but is'nt WHY ??? COME ON AND PULL YOUR FINGER OUT THIS MOVIE DESERVES A TWO DISC SPECIAL EDITION, ARE YOU READING THIS ANCHOR BAY / BLUE UNDERGROUND ? WE THE DRIVER FANS DEMAND THE FULL VERSION, SO FORGET THIS ONE AND WAIT. "
An American Classic
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 08/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film makes GONE IN 60 SECONDS seem like a movie for 8 year olds. Although sold as a "car chase movie" there is a lot more to this film than that especially its tight plot, taut direction, mis en scene, and fun. It's a thriller whose cross and double cross shenanigans are a pure delight and recall the best of the likes of Howard Hawks in the film noir forties. It rivals Jean-Pierre Melville and if Walter Hill's name was Jean-Pierre Hill from Paris it would be thought of as a classic. Hill's crime is that he's American. Culturally snobbery at work again I believe. Forget the cars for a minute, dear viewer, and let's consider the four main actors and what they do. Ryan O'Neal plays incommunicative, lonely, cold, precise, and good to look at perfectly. Isabelle Adjani plays incommunicative, lonely, cold, precise and good to look at perfectly. Which leaves the screen to one of cinema's greatest actors - Bruce Dern - to really go for it. And go for it he does. He is at his brilliant, scene-stealing, word chewing best, and is frankly rivetting and incredible fun to watch. With O'Neal and Adjani walking through po-faced throughout, Dern has a field day and is very ably helped by his cop buddy Ronee Blakly. To top the movie off, there are some of the best car chase sequences on film, as good as BULLITT. This in my view is WALTER HILL's masterpiece (he also wrote the screenplay for SAM PECKINPAH's GETAWAY in 1972). It is absolutely horrifying to me to see that Video Hound's Golden Movie Retriever 2000 give this film one and half bones which makes me nervous about many of their other reviews. I've seen this film about 15 times. It holds up. Don't deny it to yourself if you love cinema."
One of the single best car chase films.
skipmccoy | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Amazing-and to this day a film that is not loved as much as it should be. Ryan O'Neal is great as the driver-a nearly silent Hawksian professional getaway driver. Bruce Dern is also good as a cop bent on catching this outlaw. Lots of western parallels. Great scene wherein O'Neal is asked to demonstrate his driving skill and he destroys the car that his fellow crooks have brought. Lots of great car chases-some of the best ever. Walter Hill really does a heck of a great job here(like he has before). A great film that deserves the cult following it has-it even deserved more-well worth owning."
Finally on DVD! Too bad the longer version isn't included.
Cubist | United States | 06/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the late `70s and early `80s Walter Hill was one of the best action/thriller directors. Like Don Siegel and Sam Peckinpah before him, Hill made lean, gritty no-nonsense genre pictures like The Warriors, Southern Comfort and 48HRS. He understands that what drives an action film is visual storytelling through kinetic editing. This is what propels his under-appreciated movie, The Driver that is finally seeing its debut on DVD.
The near dialogue-less opening heist/getaway sequence foreshadows the same kind of approach Michael Mann would later apply to his own urban crime thrillers, most notably, Thief, which owes a huge debt to The Driver in terms of style and attitude. The first car chase, where the Driver evades several police cars through city streets at night is the epitome of stylistic economy. There is no CGI, no special effects; just judicious use of editing and letting the action tell the story.
Hill employs a classic, no frills style of filmmaking that is almost non-existent in today's climate which is all about music video style and editing (which he dabbled with in Streets of Fire). He doesn't feel the need to spell things out through dialogue or providing unnecessary back stories. It's not important where this guy came from or that we even like him. This movie is a battle of wills between the Driver and the Detective.
There is a three-minute "Alternate Beginning" which establishes, early on, the detective's work philosophy and also the two women in the Driver's life. This prologue originally aired on television.
Also included is a theatrical trailer.
Sadly, Fox has not included the 135 minute version that was shown at Los Angeles's American Cinemateque, which apparently included more car chases."
No Names Please!,
Craig Connell | Lockport, NY USA | 04/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no baloney in this surprisingly good movie (it's not well-known). It also the 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 known entities.
Maybe because Ryan, who people think of more as the likable male in the immensely popular "Love Story" 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 modern-day film noir ("neo noir") are a bunch of low-lifes. 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.
Nice to see this movie released on widescreen DVD. The transfer isn't that sharp, though, but it's inexpensive and worth the money."