Car Movie Enthusiast Reviews

Ranking

Title and Review
  Action U.S.A. 1989.

Witness to murder has two FBI agents protecting her.... and a car chase ensues. The problem with movies like this is production standards - which means the budget for the car chase itself. In this example some money was spent, which means ramps for flipping cars and propane tank explosions.

Adventures of a Taxi Driver. 1976.

British. Not very funny at all.

Airplane! 1980.

This movie is a cross between the 60's style madcap comedies like "It's a Mad Mad Mad World" and the more serious all-business disaster films of the fifties. It's also a spoof, borrowing heavily from several other films from the last couple of decades.

But wait - what's it have to do with the car hobby? The scene of Robert Stack driving his early Mustang convertible to the airport to take charge of the disaster is one of the funniest car scenes ever filmed. Take a close look at it - in the background behind the car is the most improbable and laughable collection of background scenes you could imagine (example: why would there be Indians on horseback chasing his car, who are all those people he runs over but doesn't notice?) It's a unique scene - and you've got to see it to believe it!

The DVD offered to the right is the special "Don't Call Me Shirley" edition, named after an inside joke in the film. This release offers additional commentary, deleted scenes, and more.

The sequel, Airplane 2, can't be stretched into a car film under any circumstances.

 

American Graffiti: 1973.

An American classic. Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfus. One look at the '32 Ford Coupe and the classic T-Bird is enough. Be sure to get the DVD version, with commentary by the filmmakers and stars.

As film enthusiasts, we always appreciate DVDs that focus on the "making of" type extras. This DVD has several, including screen tests. Screen tests are always interesting, and sometimes surprising - especially when they show tests of actors and actresses who didn't make it into the casting.

The sequel More American Graffiti is also available.

  Amorous Bus Driver, The. 1953.

Italian. Funny comedy about a bus drivers who leaves the prescribed route whenever he sees a young beauty by the side of the road.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find this movie anywhere. It was also released in the US as "Anatomy of Love" in 1954. That is also unavailable.

  Angel Face. 1952.

Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons. Directed by Otto Preminger and produced by Howard Hughes. A classic film noir where Jean Simmons finds an easy dupe in Mitchum, to tragic consequences. Not primarily a car film, although two cars play very important roles in the film. Including a Jag XK 120 LeMans edition!

 

2nd Tier! Animal House. 1978.

Yes, it's actually a car film - the Lincoln Continental (complete with suicide doors) and the old 'vette are classics. Plus, this film is the definition of the term "road trip".

The Lincoln is reborn (beyond restoration) near the end of the film. Be sure to listen to the commentary on the DVD version to hear about the night the actors went to a real frat house party - and got their butts kicked big time! Directed by John Landis, Produced by Ivan Reitman. An all-time classic movie! And, for you ladies who care about such things, one of two Donald Sutherland films where he shows...uh, nevermind.

Starring: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen.
  • Label: Universal
  • Year: 1978
  • Color, 1h 48m
  • Format: DVD; VHS - NTSC
  • Available: yes

  A Race For Life (aka original title Mask of Dust). 1954.

Richard Conte must choose between his wife, and his love of racing. As so many of our readers have themselves chosen, you can guess the result. And his new friend is his racing rival, but comes to an unfortunate end. Not so much about racing (too much stock racing footage is usede) as it is a typical Richard Conte vehicle (no pun). Remember that he was a heartthrob in the 1950s and in dozens of movies his characters had to make a choice like this.

But wait, there's more. Sterling Moss has a cameo as himself. And there are scenes at Le Mans. Therefore, although it is a "B" grade film, it is worthy for your collection.

  • Label: Hammer Film Productions
  • Year: 1954
  • Color, 79 minutes
  • Format: DVD (as part of a collection)
  • Available: yes