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The Driver (1978)

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenacious detective.

Director:

Walter Hill

Writer:

Walter Hill

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan O'Neal ... The Driver
Bruce Dern ... The Detective
Isabelle Adjani ... The Player
Ronee Blakley ... The Connection
Matt Clark ... Red Plainclothesman
Felice Orlandi ... Gold Plainclothesman
Joseph Walsh ... Glasses
Rudy Ramos ... Teeth
Denny Macko Denny Macko ... Exchange Man
Frank Bruno ... The Kid
Will Walker Will Walker ... Fingers
Sandy Brown Wyeth Sandy Brown Wyeth ... Split
Tara King Tara King ... Frizzy
Richard Carey Richard Carey ... Floorman
Fidel Corona Fidel Corona ... Card Player
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Storyline

"The Driver" is a specialist in a rare business: he drives getaway cars in robberies. His exceptional talent prevented him from being caught yet. After another successful flight from the police, a self-assured detective makes it his primary goal to catch the Driver. He promises remission of punishment to a gang if they help to convict him in a set-up robbery. The Driver seeks help from "The Player" (Isabelle) to mislead the detective. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Game ... A Challenge ... A Chase to the Death! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Driver See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's release date is featured in Edgar Wright's Baby Driver (2017) as inmate # 28071978 as a nod to Walter Hill. See more »

Goofs

The three-slot payphone which the Driver uses in the hotel does not make its characteristic "ding-ding" when he inserts the coin. See more »

Quotes

The Detective: Today's your lucky day. I'm feeling generous. I'm gonna give you a choice. You and your boys can do one more job. A bank, a nice big one, for free. You're just going to hire a new driver, that's all. A good one.
Glasses: I don't work with cops.
The Detective: Oh, gosh. I wish you hadn't said that.
[punches Glasses]
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Alternate Versions

Early UK cinema and video versions were cut by 18 seconds by the BBFC and completely removed the scene where Ronee Blakley has a gun forced into her mouth. This cut was waived in 2004. See more »


Soundtracks

One Fine Day
(uncredited)
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
Attributed to Linda Ronstadt (http://everything.explained.at/One_Fine_Day_(song)); original version by The Chiffons
Heard just prior to the first chase
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the greatest action movies I've ever seen, with car chases as exciting as any filmed before or since.
27 February 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

How underrated is Walter Hill?! 'The Driver' is one of his least known movies to a mainstream audience, but one of his best loved among fans. It's one of the greatest action movies I've ever seen, with car chases as exciting as any filmed before or since. The characters are all archetypes and named after their roles. There's no traditional character development here, but the actors and the action get the point across. Ryan O'Neal plays a getaway driver, the best in his field. Bruce Dern is the cop obsessed with catching him. He's willing to do anything to do so, even setting him up. I'm a major fan of Dern. I think he's one of the most interesting Hollywood actors and 'The Driver' is yet another great performance from him an a career filled with them ('The Wild Angels', 'Bloody Mama', 'Silent Running', 'Coming Home',etc.etc.) And Ryan O'Neal, an actor I've never warmed to, is surprisingly effective is a role originally intended for Steve McQueen. Plus you get Isabelle Adjani ('The Tenant'), always a pleasure to watch. I'd put 'The Driver' up there with the original versions of 'Vanishing Point', 'The Getaway' and 'Gone In 60 Seconds' as the most underrated action thrillers of the 1970s. Why it has yet to be remade is a mystery, but hoping it isn't as it will undoubtedly suck. Hollywood just seems to have lost the ability to make these kinds of movies. 'The Driver' is expertly directed by Walter Hill, who also scripted. Also check out 'The Warriors' and 'Southern Comfort' for the best of Hill. He's a hell of a film maker and rarely gets the attention he deserves.


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