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Baby Driver: Here are 6 of the greatest, and fastest movie wheelmen (and women)

In celebration of the release of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, let’s take a look at some of the best wheelmen in movies.

hollywood Updated: Jul 01, 2017 10:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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To mark the release of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver - in which the director makes his love for car movies very apparent - we wondered where Baby might stand in a race with other famous movie drivers. So we made a list.

As tempted as we were to include Morgan Freeman’s character from Driving Miss Daisy, or Adam Driver’s (it’s right there in the name!), bus driver from Paterson here, we will restrict the list to characters similar to Baby - basically criminals.

1. The Driver - Drive (2011)

Ryan Gosling’s near-silent performance as the nameless Driver in Nicolas Winding Refn’s cult classic has many similarities to Baby, but characters like this are archetypes anyway. Like Baby, the Driver wants out of the crime game, and when he falls for a girl, he attempts a getaway, but not like the ones he’s used to.

2. The Driver - The Driver (1978)

Before both Drive and Baby Driver, there was The Driver, directed by Walter Hill. Probably one of the most influential movies of its kind, which itself was inspired by Jean Pierre Melville’s Le Samourai, it paved way for nameless, silent, getaway drivers for decades to come.

3. Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle - The French Connection (1971)

Considered to be one of the greatest car chases ever filmed, director Willam Friedkin and co. used unique camera angles, an iconic location, and a brutal editing style to deliver maximum impact.

4. Frankie Bullitt - Bullitt (1968)

Steve McQueen burned rubber on the streets of San Francisco in another sequence considered to be one of the greatest car chases ever filmed - and it made the Ford Mustang GT an iconic movie muscle car. Framed to highlight the practical stunts, using static (and POV) angles, we can see shades of the Bullitt chase in basically ever car chase to ever come after it.

5. Jason Bourne - The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

While it could be argued that every Jason Bourne car chase is excellent (even the Vegas-set one in 2016’s Jason Bourne), the Moscow chase in the series’ second film is a masterclass in how to film such sequences. Shot in a totally different style from the classics mentioned above - director Paul Greengrass uses his trademark handheld cameras, and quick cutting - it offered another take on a movie favourite.

6. Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

While most of these drivers have proven themselves when it comes to fast cars, it’ll be interesting to see them manoeuvre a big rig. Charlize Theron’s The Italian Job character could probably give her a run for her money.

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First Published: Jul 01, 2017 10:19 IST