Driver

Driver

5.0 2
Director: Walter Hill

Cast: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani

     
 

Walter Hill's 1978 car chase spectacle Driver zooms to DVD with this release from 20th Century Fox. Including both the full-screen version and an anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen version of the film, this release does a fine job at presenting the thrilling chases in all their glory, with the help of a Dolby Digital stereo track and the original mono mix. WhileSee more details below

Overview

Walter Hill's 1978 car chase spectacle Driver zooms to DVD with this release from 20th Century Fox. Including both the full-screen version and an anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen version of the film, this release does a fine job at presenting the thrilling chases in all their glory, with the help of a Dolby Digital stereo track and the original mono mix. While there isn't a suped-up sound option, the disc does include an unpublicized alternate beginning, which actually goes a long way to explain a major plot point in the film, making it quite the inclusion in an otherwise lame-duck release. Genre fans will be happy to own this disc, thus filling out an empty void in their collections of tough Walter Hill action classics.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
If you're looking at Bruce Dern and thinking, "Will Ferrell?" chances are you're watching The Driver -- the pedal-to-the-metal 1978 chase flick from action auteur Walter Hill -- and loving it. Topping Dern's beanpole build with a dubious perm may not have seemed like such a bad idea at the time, but it adds to this above-average neo-noir cult fave a giggle factor surely unforeseen at the time. Hill's bare-bones script -- the characters are all nameless archetypes -- depicts a cat-and-mouse game played out over 89 minutes between three cops and the titular getaway man. Ryan O'Neal, as the driver for hire, says very little, looks very pissed, and drives very fast, leaving crashed police cruisers in his wake and delivering burglars to safety before taking his cut and heading back to some flophouse. Dern, meanwhile, leads what seems to be a task force of three, bent on bringing this lead-footed cowboy down at the expense of any other traditional police work, rulebook be damned! In fact, Dern coerces a stickup crew to pull a bank heist and demands that they hire O'Neal, whom he intends to bag at the drop-off point. This being noir, next to nothing goes right; but boy, does it go off with gusto. Contributing her unique bee-stung pout to this smile-free environment is French beauty Isabelle Adjani, as a mysterious gambler who ultimately winds up in the passenger seat beside O'Neal in the film's third and final spectacular chase sequence. The two seem forbidden from chemical exchange and remain practically stone-faced while screeching around corners at high speed in a hopped-up, candy-apple-red pickup truck. Hill's dedication to keeping things lean, mean (body count: five), and unpretentious allows you to savor the age-enhanced charms of this satisfying piece of period cheese. It may lack the pyrotechnics fans have come to expect from films like Gone in 60 Seconds, and maybe it would have been cooler had Steve McQueen played the lead (as originally planned), but The Driver negotiates its own preposterousness with nary a wrong turn.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Walter Hill has always used myth and archetype as the backbone of his films but in this beautifully made existential noir he takes this approach as far as he ever has, eliminating any hint of psychology or sociology, even denying the characters any names. In a film that seems an odd marriage of Bresson and Hemingway, the blank-faced O'Neal speaks barely more than 300 words throughout, his character manifest in his grace and economy of action. Lest this sound too much like an exercise in philosophical bombast, it's worth mentioning that the film's only apparent raison d'être is three of the most spectacular car chase sequences ever committed to celluloid. Shot by the legendary Phillip Lathrop, who also gave the similarly hard-edged Point Blank (1967) and Hard Times (1974) much of their visual allure, the film's sleek, dark-toned, wide-screen compositions resonate powerfully, particularly the scenes in L.A.'s Union Station. As the cop on a futile quest to collar the superhuman wheelman, Dern does a fine job in the film's only actable part.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2005
UPC:
0024543173311
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
8,242

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ryan O'Neal The Driver
Bruce Dern The Detective
Isabelle Adjani The Player
Ronee Blakley The Connection
Matt Clark Red Plain Clothesman
Felice Orlandi Gold Plainclothesman
Joseph Walsh Glasses
Rudy Ramos Teeth
Denny Macko Exchange Man
Frank Bruno The Kid
Will Walker Fingers
James Caan Actor
Angelo Lamonea Actor
Sandy Wyeth Split
Tara King Frizzy
Richard Carey Floorman
Fidel Corona Card Player
Victor Gilmour Boardman
Nick Dimitri Blue Mask
Bob Minor Green Mask
Bill McConnell Passenger
Peter Jason Commuter
Allan Graf Uniformed Cop

Technical Credits
Walter Hill Director,Screenwriter
Jack Bear Costumes/Costume Designer
Everett Creach Stunts
Jane Feinberg Casting
Mike Fenton Casting
Lawrence Gordon Producer
David M. Haber Art Director
Tina Hirsch Editor
Harry Horner Production Designer
Pat Kehoe Asst. Director
Robert Lambert Editor
Philip H. Lathrop Cinematographer
Gary D. Liddiard Makeup
Frank Marshall Associate Producer
Jennifer Parsons Costumes/Costume Designer
Russ Saunders Production Manager
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Michael Small Score Composer
Charles Spurgeon Special Effects
Richard Wagner Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Driver, Side A: Pan and Scan
1. Main Titles/The Job [7:13]
2. The Getaway [7:28]
3. Cowboy [1:12]
4. Pros [2:59]
5. Amateurs [2:21]
6. Hobson's Choice [2:53]
7. Alibi [2:54]
8. The Connection [1:18]
9. Proof [4:45]
10. Winners and Losers [1:33]
11. The Challenge [4:26]
12. The Deal [3:07]
13. Drop Point [:43]
14. Stashing the Loot [3:44]
15. Uneven Trades [2:41]
16. Seeing it Through [4:55]
17. Taking the Train [1:43]
18. Chasing the Money [2:04]
19. End of the Ride [4:27]
20. Gotcha!/End Titles [4:24]
Side #2 -- The Driver, Side B: Widescreen
1. Main Titles/The Job [7:13]
2. The Getaway [7:28]
3. Cowboy [1:12]
4. Pros [2:59]
5. Amateurs [2:21]
6. Hobson's Choice [2:53]
7. Alibi [2:54]
8. The Connection [1:18]
9. Proof [4:45]
10. Winners and Losers [1:33]
11. The Challenge [4:26]
12. The Deal [3:07]
13. Drop Point [:43]
14. Stashing the Loot [3:44]
15. Uneven Trades [2:41]
16. Seeing it Through [4:55]
17. Taking the Train [1:43]
18. Chasing the Money [2:04]
19. End of the Ride [4:27]
20. Gotcha!/End Titles [4:24]

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