The real inspiration for the Transporter series. (Just because it inspired the BMW web commercials starring Clive Owen which in turn inspired...) This is classic boiled down terse action and suspense. The characters are literally called their archtypes. (ie: The Driver, The Detective)
This film takes Hill's fun cat & mouse of The Thief Who Came To Dinner and inverts it into a war of wills. Ryan O'Neal does a 180 on his character from the later and here becomes the prototypical Hill protagonist. Bruce Dern is at his buggiest, ironically, as someone on the right side of the law for a change.
This also looks like it influenced Michael Mann and Thief. I realize it's difficult for some people to trace the roots of something and enjoy it. For me, the excitement is just the opposite as I got to see this first run in the theater and have been watching the ripples from it continue out over the years. (God bless my close to JD high school years.)