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Most memorable car movie ever


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With apologies to all Navy Vets, here is my most memorable car movie ever.

Laurel & Hardy 1928, Two Tars.   Many of the cars I can't identify.
Even if you've seen it before, it's still a great movie for old car nuts like us.
The farther into it the film gets, the better it gets.
 
 
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For me and all the (vintage car) friends I grew up with in Europe, the absolutely most influential & memorable “car movie” was & still is “American Graffiti”, which gave us (apparently quite inaccurate) impression of what vintage car culture in America is all about, but in hindsight, not many other things depicted in movies are that close to reality either.

 

OTOH, something else we initially failed to understand was the fact that the storyline was placed in 1962, in which context majority of the depicted cars were essentially just late model/“modern”,  +/- 5 year old, used cars**, many perhaps not even owned by the kids driving/riding them, but instead “loaned” from their parents for the evening cruising.

 

** Not the cool, exotic, fancy (and to us, super rare in real life) American "classics"(?) we perceived them to be when first watching the movie (over-and-over) in mid-to-late '70s.

 

P.S. I've probably seen it 20+ times and most of my lifelong (European) car buddies have probably seen it at least half a dozen or more times in past 40+ years.

Most of us have a VHS/DVD/etc copy of it within short reach...

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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I saw Bullitt in the movie theater when it first came out.  It was me and my car loving buddies who were just getting our drivers license at the time.  We were in awe of the chase scenes and we were immediately fans of the Dodge Charger.  Steve in his Mustang wasn’t too bad either.

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One of my longtime best friends and antique car buddies was a Navy veteran. One of his all time favorite movies was "Two Tars"(1928).

 

"American Graffiti" as written was semi autobiographical, and based upon actual people and events that took place in Modesto California. My mother grew up in the farming country just outside Modesto, however, had moved out about ten years earlier. She did know some of the families and people involved.

 

"The Roar of the Crowd" (otherwise known as "The Crowd Roars") starring James Cagney and Joan Blondell, has been one of my favorite car movies for a very long time.

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This might be surprising to some, but I'd never seen Chinatown until last night. Faye Dunaway's very pretty and colorful Packard was most notable. Jack Nicholson was driving what appeared to me to be a 1935 Ford in some sort of phaeton configuration, which I didn't know was available. They must not have been real common. He was also driving some other character's car for a while - a large black four door - but I couldn't figure out what it was. I thought maybe it was a Buick or a couple other makes, but that didn't seem to be verified by google.

 

There was also a brief shot of a very nice thirties Ford woody wagon, but they didn't show the front of it so I couldn't tell what year it was. It was a pretty decent car movie, and apparently based on some historical/political events in California back in the day.

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Although I doubt many people would say best the two car movies that most influenced me as a kid was Herbie and Smokey and the Bandit. 

 

The original Cars movie from Disney/Pixar is also excellent. I have not seen the sequels yet, but the first one really and truly "got it". It may ostensibly be made for kids but it really was made for car people...kids wouldn't get most of the references.

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Genevieve.  Great Britain 1953, a rom com with some racing.  Presently can be seen on Youtube.com.

 

" Is this the weekend" asks one man to another.

" Yes, I'm taking Genevieve to Brighton."  replies the hero.  Opening line.

 

Regards, Gary

Edited by cxgvd
opening line added (see edit history)
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A similar thread came up awhile back, and the question was posed  is it a film where the story is about cars or a film where the cars are just "props" in the story?

 

I myself always liked  It's a Mad Mad Mad World  and most of those cars were just used cars when it was filmed.

 

 

11212892666_5ed3f3ac1f.jpg

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Cliff Robertson battles bad guys and fights an early Coronavirus through downtown Pittsburgh and into the Allegheny Mountains (just kidding, New Zealand).

Good sound.

 

 

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All of the above are great choices.  Here's two that I enjoyed, Duel and Used Cars.  Late model cars in both movies (when they were filmed), but Duel is a great suspense movie, and Used Cars was a good comedy.

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"The Great Race" with Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon and a host of others was a fun movie.

 

As far as chase scenes go, W.C. Fields did a pretty good one in "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break":

 

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Yep, Mad Mad Mad World and Used Cars. I saw Mad Mad Mad World first run and loved it.

 

Tucker obviously. But it IS a movie about A car , OK, 50 cars..... Ever see so many spare Tucker parts (not counting all those heaters and radios at swap meets)?🤔 David Cammack had lots of still from the movie where you can see the rows of parts carts with mocked up parts to build Tucker cars. And they used those to make a Studebaker look like a Tucker for the rollover scene.

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There was a show called "Bringing Up Buddy". The two old aunts owned a 1939 or '40 Buick 4dr convertible. Buddy had them take it to a shop where they told the shop owner to "give it the works, our nephew wants it done". Von Dutch may have played the shop owner. Anyway the car came back souped up with a flame paint job. In the end they were able to get back to basic black, but the engine mods stayed.

I have found small amounts of information on the series but none on that specific show, the car, or the shop actor. I would bet the Buick is still around. Sure would like to see that show again.

 

I think the old gals were Iris and Violet. Old, probably about 10 years younger than I am now. Maybe younger. Those California people age fast must be the sun. I keep remembering the real estate agent with the long grain leatherette cleavage. But that's another story.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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One of my very favorites is an OLD one from 1932, called, "IF I HAD A MILLION." It's about a millionaire who is dying, and gives away a million dollars at a time to total strangers. ONE of the strangers is the wife of the character played by WC Fields. Newly rich husband and wife buy a new car (early 30's or late 20's), but it gets damaged by various other drivers which Fields calls, "Road Hogs." So he and his wife come up with a plan to get even. FABULOUS old cars featured in this one. You owe it to yourself to see it! 

 

Edited by lump (see edit history)
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This one might seem a little silly, but i'd have to say that the cartoon short Susie The Little Blue Coupe from 1952, was probably my earliest car oriented memory that i remember seeing and paying attention to. I think it made me want a car with white walls when i was whatever single digit age that i saw it at, and now i have a car with white walls 😄 

 

 

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Hard to believe my second favorite car movie has not been mentioned yet.

The Great Race (1965) - IMDb

www.imdb.com/title/tt0059243

The Great Race: Directed by Blake Edwards. With Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk. In the early 20th century, two rivals, the heroic Leslie and the despicable Professor Fate, engage in an epic automobile race from New York to Paris.

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On 8/1/2021 at 12:32 PM, wws944 said:

"The Great Race" with Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon and a host of others was a fun movie.

It was mentioned.😉

On 8/3/2021 at 9:02 PM, vintage1 said:

Another vote for Its a Mad Mad Mad World and also The Great Race.

It is a good movie! Not only directed by Blake Edwards, but written by him. And at the same time period as his Pink Panther movies. 

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received_1031249267046777.jpeg.2a53cae6b3aac8509994d9053a175c89.jpegreceived_566659623785196.jpeg.31ce5975fba401d33e4dc4f8a7636762.jpegfor my choice. it's American Graffiti, when it hit the movie theaters in 1974 or 1975, i watched it 4 times, the car cruising, drive in restaurant, drag racing culture. plus being a part factual biography i could really identified with, i bought my 1953 Pontiac Chieftain Custom Catalina in 1973, and was cruising main street in Ventura,Calif. every weekend i could (60 miles away). a car buyer for the movie studio tried to buy my car from me in 1973, but i wouldn't sell, he offered me $750.00 for my $150.00 car.

Edited by pontiac1953 (see edit history)
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