Is it even an action film if there isn’t a car chase?
Can you really be a T-Rex’s lunch if he isn’t trying to eat your jeep first?
Cars and movies go together like Thelma and Louise, Batman and Robin, or Bert and Ernie.
Ask anyone to pick out their favourite car moment and they’ll struggle to pick just one. In fact, that’s exactly what we found when we surveyed 2000 film enthusiasts and asked them to choose their favourite car moments from their favourite films.
Our survey revealed, that whilst it might be easy to name a car chase scene, there are a few surprise mentions from films that aren’t just about speeding through the city after the bad guys. In fact, some films are classic childhood films or even musicals.
We also uncovered Britians favourites car moments and how many of our film buffs thought a car scene made a movie just that bit more enjoyable. Here are some interesting statistics our survey highlighted:
Slide through our gallery of statistics to see what else we discovered:
However, our survey wouldn't be complete without a definitive list of the best car movie moments. So we asked those 2000 film lovers to vote for their favourite movie moments.
So without further ado here’s our list of the top 20 film moments set in a car.
Top of the list is the classic car chase from Italian Job. For many the six minute long chase scene is arguably one of the greatest cinema moments. With the three Mini cars (Red, White and Blue) scaling stairs and even buildings to escape the police.
A modern film that has many memorable moments. But who can forget that scene in the second film, when poor Harry and Ron missed the Hogwarts express. So they jumped in Ron’s flying Ford Anglia and made their own way to School. Flying past the Hogwarts express, but ending up in the dangerous spider filled forest instead.
Everyone knows a Grease song or two and the scene where the T-Birds danced and sang around in their mechanic garage is a classic. With John Travolta leaping on top of a glorious Ford De Luxe. It’s truly electrifying!
Coming in at exactly 88mph is the Back to future DeLorean, when Doc and Marty used Plutonium to time travel. Followed by a further two films the pair wrote history (or changed it) with a film that still features on our screens today.
Who can forget that moment when Thelma and Louise were surrounded by armed police atop the Grand Canyon? Not willing to give up, Thelma and Louise simply ‘kept going’ and the film ends with them mid-air after flying over the edge of the cliff. Iconic.
Italian job features again on our list, but this time it’s the famous bus scene. They’ve just pulled off the bank robbery and the bus is full of valuable gold, whilst it hangs in the balance over the cliff edge. We can’t confirm if the bus landed or crashed below as the film ends there. Epitomising the phrase ‘cliff hanger’.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this scene would include Batman’s tank-like Batmobile. But it’s actually the scene where Bruce Wayne races through Gotham City in his Lamborghini Aventador. In the process, saving an accountant who happens to work for him. Of course Bruce pretends he was just trying to catch the traffic lights, but we know what really happened. Shame about his Lamborghini though.
That moment when Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flies for the very first time. Heading for certain doom over the edge of the cliff. Dick Van Dyke quickly unwinds the wings to rescue the situation.
Pouring with rain, the automatic Jeeps come to a stop in the T-Rex enclosure. With the IT guy shutting down power and running off with the valuable DNA samples. The electric fence is shut off. No prizes for guessing what happens next, not only was this brilliant for the way the T-Rex chewed up and destroyed the Jeeps. It was a really impressive use of CGI and robotics in a film that was made in the early 90’s.
The opening sequence to Wayne’s World isn’t easy to forget. It starts with Wayne jumping in the car with his best friend, Garth Algar. He pulls out a cassette tape, a cassette tape! With Bohemian Rhapsody on it and the gang burst into song cruising around Chicago.
“You got us into the parking lot, now you get us out”. Were the words muttered to Elwood by ‘Joilet’ Jake Blues. What followed was an all mighty crash through the shop wall and a speedy chase through the mall. Surprisingly the police actually gave chase and followed the Blues Brothers through the shopping mall, crashing and destroying multiple windows, stores and stalls. Absolute chaos.
Terry Crews, playing Letrell, singing along to ‘A Thousand Miles’. The shake of the head along with the melody of the music makes this scene hilarious. And whilst they aren’t really driving anywhere they’re still in Crews’ luxury convertible.
Dominic and Brian drag racing towards a speeding train in true fast and furious style. The ending scene to the original The Fast and The Furious film is a heart racer. Narrowly missing the speeding train, Dom’s car is then hit by an oncoming truck spinning him into the air and coming down with a crash. With the police on their way to the crash Brian then hands Dom his key so he can escape.
Pulp Fiction is a famous film for many of its scenes and a cult classic from Quentin Tarantino. But this scene in particular is a driving scene where Jules Winnfield (Samuel L Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) discuss how Europe is a little different to the US. And in particular how they call the Quarter pounder burger a Royale burger. A BigMac is a still a BigMac but in Paris they call it a Le BigMac.
A film about one of the most famous ships in the world, carrying thousands of passengers from Southampton to New York might strike you as odd on this list. But there’s one scene in this film which many film ‘lovers’ will remember. We’ll say no more.
With thrilling wheel spins, handbrake turns, fooling a police helicopter and narrowing escaping the police. Baby Driver’s opening sequence is a fantastic start to a car film. In fact you may as well watch it yourself, it’s that good.
Number 17 on our list is the Nicholas Cage car scene featuring a supercharged Ford Mustang. Racing through the streets to escape the police and then arming his nitrous. Cage manages to reach a staggering 160mph across the treacherous storm drain before heading into a construction site, scraping a digger and entering the docks. He manages to lose the police and uses an appropriately placed truck, complete with ramp, to fly over the traffic filled bridge, scrape an ambulance on the way down, and land safely. But it was all pretty realistic.
Mad Max has a number of driving related scenes and considering the fill is based around driving Fury Road it’s difficult to pick out a favourite moment. However, one that stands out the most is the crazy guy riding up top, playing a flame thrower guitar. Unfortunately, Mad Max causes a bit of a fight and after the crash. Our guitar guy fails to make another appearance.
When Vincent meets Max, his life as an easy going cab driver turns upside down. Little does he know that the suave gentlemen he’s just picked up, is about to cause some trouble. This scene in particular is the first time they meet, Max in fact nearly misses Vincent’s custom but manages to call him back, later regretting he ever did.
A moment in history when Marlon Brando utters those famous words “I coulda been a contender, I could have been somebody”. The car scene showcases how Marlon’s character could have been a successful boxer if he hadn’t got involved with the mob bosses and thrown his fight.
After we received the survey results, even we didn’t expect to see some of these entries, so it’s amazing to see how film lovers picked out some famous movie moments that weren’t all about those car chases.
Did you spot your favourite car movie moment on our list? Or did we miss it?
Why not share our below infographic on your social channels and see if everyone else’s favourite car moments are on our list too.