Drivers’ Cinema: Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) was written, directed, and produced by H.B Halicki. This well-known flick follows a team of professional car thieves who double as insurance employees. They are commissioned by a South American drug lord to hijack a slew of automobiles. Their plan to acquire the cars is unique and well thought out as they grab the totaled cars from wreck yards and replace the parts from the totaled cars on the new cars. Impressively, the thieves are able to steal all but one of the 48 cars. The one missing link is none other than the infamous 1971 Eleanor Fastback. The film portrays the stealing of the cars but ultimately centers on the final chase that takes police through five different cities in Southern California.
This film provides a nice showing of rare automobiles. The 1970 Dodge Challenger that appears in the opening sequence of the film is in my favorite color. The car is later involved in a somewhat of a chase. This chase in particular is entertaining, as the car is hitched to a tow truck that is running from police. Be prepared to close your eyes shortly after, because watching the car being crushed is something I could hardly bear. The most unique car in the film is the yellow Manta Mirage, and it produces the finest exhaust note as well. Additionally, getting to watch a 1968 Intermeccanica Italia GFX take off is pretty awesome. Finally, last but not least is the 1971 Ford Mustang code-named “Eleanor”. This car is really one of the only cars that is driven hard and fast in the film. This is one of the main differences between the original film and the remake released in 2000. The remake of the film features more of the stolen cars being driven instead of mainly focusing on the Eleanor’s wild chase.
At times the plot is a little iffy and the exposition becomes a little too obvious, but what more could you ask from a B-level ’70s flick. I would recommend this film for the near 40-minute chase scene that finishes the movie. It’s captivating and the stunts will leave you on the edge of your seat. True car enthusiasts will find some very enjoyable moments in the film, so if you haven’t seen this classic tune in and buckle up for a wild ride.
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