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I am quickly liking these Walter Hill directed thrillers from the mid 70s. Perhaps it reminds me of watching late night TV in the 1980s?
In this 1978 thriller we have a getaway driver (Ryan O'Neal) who is pretty good at his job or driving away from armed robberies evading police cars that always crash in slow motion!
In the other corner is a police detective (Bruce Dern) who is pretty good at his job using sometimes questionable methods.
The detective is determined to catch the driver. Nobody has a real name in this film it appears.
In the middle is a mysterious woman called The Player (Isabelle Adjani).
Not much dialogue is shown from the driver just a series of excellent chase scenes that rival anything else at the time and feature some excellent stunt work.
Hill shows the cat and mouse game between the driver and the detective and brings a good 1970s film to the screen.
True it has aged somewhat since it's 1978 release (it makes me feel old saying that) but it is entirely enjoyable.
The influence of this film on more recent films such as Drive (Ryan Gosling) and Baby Driver is clear to see.
The Driver is a slick, gripping, and thrilling action/thriller tinged with film noir. Even the characters are given slick names such as the main character who is referred to is either "The Driver" or "Cowboy" by the police detective trying to catch him. The Driver is a man who works as a getaway driver for criminals and is the best at the job. Every criminal wants him, but he doesn't come cheap and always scrutinizes his clients (At the beginning of the film, he chastises his clients and refuses to ever work with them again since they were late getting back to the car). He is careful at what he does, frustrating a police detective due to a lack of evidence. However, when The Driver, takes on a job, he winds up in a dangerous conspiracy that could land him in jail or kill him. The plot is fairly simply and features familiar tropes, but the direction is slick, the acting is solid, and the action sequences are thrilling and breathtaking. It still puts many car chase films to shame even with all the technical wizardry of modern Hollywood. If you love a good action film, you cannot miss The Driver, as it is easily among the best of the genre.
this underrated classic is an insanely cool movie. Drive & Baby Driver are copies of this movie
Let us talk about silence. This is one of those movies where the cool move is to walk away without as much as a shrug. Two criminals that show emotion: A vindictive thief humiliated by the driver and a vulnerable female fixer both meet bad ends. I am not a fan of Ryan O`Neal (who is?), but in this he stands as tall as laconic icons Steve McQueen (who turned it down - tired of car films and ready for some Ibsen) and Alain Delon. The French have a solid tradition pairing crime and stoicism. Check out the classic heist movie Rififi. Where feelings lead to downfall - a guy puts a ring in his own pocket to give to his girl.
Cinema has always had an on/off love affair with silence. The 70`s were almost the second silent era, in a decade when American television blabbered away. And today? You may compare the original and the remake of The Mechanic. The first knows that silence is a powerful tool. The second is just grunts between the rumble.
Bring on the roaring 80`s. Jack Nicholson became a set of eyebrows, Al Pacino a boombox, McQueen died and O`Neal all but vanished. Adapt or die. Rather funny that director Walter Hill ended up making 48 Hrs. with Eddie Murphy in his motormouth prime.
Before we silence the talk: The Driver confirms that sitting next to Isabelle Adjani during a car chase is the best thing in the world.
Getaway driver movies are usually pretty cool, but this one was just so... 70's.
Le Samouraï meets Drive
Typical 70's smultz.
Feels more like a TV show with bad detectives, bad car chases, um, spectacular car chases - lol.
Amusing little flick out of the 70s. Saw it suggested on a page for people who liked Drive, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Starred the guy who starred in my least favorite Kubrick film, Barry Lyndon and the guy who played the General in The Hateful 8. I was not impressed by either actor. what saved the film were the car chases, I am always a sicker for s good one, but I'd stick with Vanishing Point or The 7 Ups before watching again. The story was so-so. It's a rainy day movie at best.
If a disaffectedly ruthless sheen can signify cinematic cool in this perpetually uncool day and age, then 1978's "The Driver," a bare bones take on the action genre, deserves a place next to deservedly godly classics like "Bullitt" and "Dirty Harry." Granted, it's more style than it is substance - making for stark contrast with the aforementioned masterworks - but "The Driver," with its dizzying car chases and its noiry exchanges, is devilish in the way it gets away with its sensuous self-regard.
Because this is the kind of film that has the audacity to respond to its own artifice. The characters don't have names: they are things, carrying around labels like, ahem, The Driver, The Detective, etc., and they don't exist to do anything besides what their title entails. Conversations ring with the pulp chintziness of a tête-à-tête between a femme fatale and an anti-hero circa 1946; the performances are not so much performances as they are imitations of classic character types.
Which is why "The Driver's" relative success is all the more impressive. It survives as an exercise in attitude, sometimes appearing to be, in itself, a comment on a genre that oftentimes struggles to stand above the tragedies that come along with sinking to formula. In the midst of its observation are we left with a lean, mean, and exquisitely tough thriller, intelligent in its crafting and more than a little exceptional in its delivery. It should be slight, pretentious even. But it concocts an astonishingly slick atmosphere Nicolas Winding Refn would kill to recreate, and it's hopeless for us to withstand its roguish magnetism.
"The Driver" finds its titular figure in Ryan O'Neal, a defining actor of his generation whose then-waning popularity perfectly suits the world weary persona of the man he's playing. His Driver is a man we've perhaps always dreamed of one day living as - a rebel on the wrong side of the law with the good sense to never get caught. He specializes in driving getaway cars, an unconventional job that pays off both monetarily and in reputation. He's one of the best in his slim field, and is gaining notoriety on both sides of the tracks.
The Driver is provided with all his jobs by The Connection (Ronee Blakley), a slinkily confident small-time crime boss, and his given his alibis by The Player (Isabelle Adjani), with whom he appears to have some sort of romantic interest (though we never really find out if such a notion is embedded in the truth). He could very well continue with his sinful career until the day he dies. But with the viciously ambitious The Detective (Bruce Dern) committed to stopping him dead in his tracks, The Driver's days of perpetuating neighborhood crime could be coming to a close.
But it's clear that these said days will never come to a close - these characters, all memorably portrayed by a satisfactorily disparate ensemble, will always have a place in the movies. There will always be a man like The Driver, a man like The Detective, and there will always be women of the distinct brands of The Player and The Connection. An endless game of cat-and-house is something we can always expect in the thriller genre, particularly in ones that get their jollies through car chases and badass attitudes.
So maybe "The Driver" would be more tiresome, more eye-rollingly predictable, if not for Walter Hill's coordinating of it all. Here is an auteur with a clear-eyed appreciation for film noir, for suspense, and for action. But unlike so many filmmakers who try to get away with a wispily tense ambience, Hill is an assured director and an assured storyteller, so much so that we're sure we're witnessing something original and not totally rehashed. And since "The Driver" is, essentially, a greatest hits collection of workable tropes, that's something to be proud of.
Watched in 1980 but have a faint picture - want to watch it again.