The thrill derived from a well-crafted movie car chase or car crash sequence is undeniable. Everyone--whether a car fanatic or not--can appreciate a great American muscle car in a high-speed chase, especially in the days before CGI. In fact, director Quentin Tarantino released an homage to old time car chase scenes in his 2007 feature Death Proof, in which real life stuntwoman Zoe Bell appears as herself.
Here in Rochester, NY, we are fortunate to have the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in the city. The museum is located in the former home of George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company. As part of the museum's film program, the Eastman House's Dryden Theatre is presenting a tribute to "The Great American Car Crash & Car Chase Movies" in their Thunder Roads series. This collection of movies represents some of the best and most celebrated films in the genre.
The series kicked-off with Thunder Road, the classic 1958 movie about running moonshine, and continues with a double feature on July 17th including Death Race 2000 and Deathsport. In these and the other movies the cars are in just as much of a starring role as the actors. With the right stunt drivers behind the wheel these classic muscle cars are quite the scene stealers. Take, for instance, the Ford Mustang driven by McQueen in Bullitt and the Dodge Challenger R/T featured in Vanishing Point. ClassicMustang.com features the an article on the car chase in Bullitt and the stunt driver(s) who pulled it off.
Even if you can't make it to the theater, we definitely recommend checking out one or more of these classic movies and enjoying some of the ground-breaking car chase and car crash scenes of American cinema.