As Formula 1 film 'Rush' comes to the UAE, 7DAYS looks at seven of the best car chase films of all time...
Careering into cinemas across the UAE tomorrow is ‘Rush’, the adrenaline-injected picture that tackles the great Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. ‘Thor’ actor Chris Hemsworth takes on the role of playboy racer Hunt while his arch rival, Austrian driver Lauda, is portrayed by Daniel Bruhl of ‘Inglorious Basterds’ fame.
Acclaimed director Ron Howard helms this story of the four-year period running up to 1976, regarded by many F1 fans as one of the best seasons. In a sport that was nowhere near as tightly controlled as it is today, the film aims to capture the clashing and exceptional characters of two men who knew that each race could be their last but would push themselves and their cars to the limit nonetheless.
To sift through the layers of mystery surrounding the late British racing legend, Hemsworth spoke to people who knew Hunt personally, other racing drivers, watched hours of footage and even had a chat with Hunt’s past lovers.
“There’s quite a few inconsistencies about who James actually was, which was quite appealing actually because there’s a bit of mystery to him about things like, ‘did he drink before a race?’ Or was he quite clean during the week and only drank after the race?” says the actor. The more Hemsworth spoke to people, the more puzzling the inconsistencies became.
“I met three different women, I swear to God, over the last year or so who said, ‘oh I knew James, I dated him,” laughs the 30-year-old actor. “How often does that happen? And you think ‘well, that kind of gives you an indication of how popular he was with women’.
“And none of those ex-girlfriends ever had a bad thing to say about him… they said that he never lied about who he was and so you couldn’t criticise him for turning around and not being the most faithful partner.” As a rising star in a modern well-oiled Hollywood machine with publicists stage-managing his every career move, the Hunt role was a little refreshing for Hemsworth.
Vanishing Point – The stakes are high as Barry Newman takes on the law and the clock to deliver his 1970 Dodge Challenger to San Francisco in less than 15 hours.
Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn’s hyper-stylish and violent movie with Ryan Gosling as a stuntman moonlighting as a getaway driver.
Bullitt - Steve McQueen sets the standard for movie car chases as the gutsy San Francisco cop on the hunt.
Ronin – Robert De Niro and Jean Reno may star in this 1998 spy movie but the real star for us has to be the immense car chases in a movie with a budget of just $20 million.
Duel – The creepy and Stephen King film in which Denis Weaver is a travelling businessman being pursued by a mysterious tanker truck.
Death Race 2000 – Morals are thrown out of the window in this film set in a dystopian future, as David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone et al thrash it out across country, killing pedestrians for points.
What's your fave car chase flick? Please share by commenting below!
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