The Driver (1978) in 11 Minutes
Warren Dubeau is a niche YouTube channel featuring famous scenes from movies edited with hard pulsing music. Most videos on this channel are compilations of the best heart-racing scenes from car movies we never grow tired of viewing mixed with headbanging jams. This video is slightly different from the rest because it condenses an entire film down to less than eleven minutes. Which movie? One of the most underrated car movies of them all, Walter Hill’s The Driver from 1978.
This video by Warren Dubeau edits the entire movie, highlighting its three epic driving scenes set to the song Sinnerman by Nina Simone. This video offers the cliff notes version of the film with all the fat trimmed off leaving a heaping serving of grade-A content.
The Driver (1978) stars Ryan O’Neil as the best wheelman in Los Angles often referred to as the cowboy. The fact that he’s never been caught becomes an obsession for one overly confident tough cop played by the always talented Bruce Dren, who portrays a detective willing to bend the rules if it means “catching the cowboy that’s never been caught.”
The film’s plot becomes a competition between the Driver and the detective in a battle of egos. The detective wants to catch Driver in the act, so he forces two armed robbers to hold up a bank under the conditions that they hire Driver as their wheelman. Who will outsmart who in this real-life game of cops and robbers?
If the name Walter Hill rings a bell, you may have seen his other work that includes the cult-classic film The Warriors (1979), and he produced the Aliens franchise. The car chase scenes in The Driver as on par with the legendary Bullitt (1968) with good reason since Walter Hill was a second assistant director on the film, although he was uncredited.
The film, and video, feature three key car scenes involving some of the best close quarter driving action sequences in an era before CGI. From destroying an orange Mercedes-Benz in a test drive from hell, and seeing a drifting 454ci Chevy C-10 step-side pickup truck trading paint with a tire-shredding Pontiac Trans Am, The Driver (1978) is one of the best car movies you’ve probably never seen.
Personally speaking, the car chase scenes in The Driver are several leagues superior to Bullitt, and I implore you to watch the video before you come at me.