The second trailer, longer than the first, was released this week for Ron Howard’s new movie “Rush“.
The movie tells the story of the 1976 Formula 1 points championship battle between Kiki Lauda and James Hunt.
Will this film end up on our Top 5 list of the all-time great movies for car enthusiasts? It’s looking better for inclusion – we’ll let you know when the movie opens in North American on September 20th (and one week earlier in Britain).
Ron Howard’s labor of love opens September 20th in the United States, and a week earlier in Britain. The movie tells the story of the 1976 Formula 1 points championship battle between Kiki Lauda and James Hunt.
The Sweeney is a new movie based on a ’70s television show of the same name. The Sweeney is special squad of hardened police detectives in London, known as the Flying Squad, with officers who are empowered to use any method necessary, even illegal, to solve a crime. If you are Nick Clegg of the U.K. Liberal Democrats Party, you of course do not approve of this film.
The Sweeney was made with the help of Top Gear UK, which participated in the filming of a chase scene. Clarkson, May, and Hammond are credited as stunt drivers. And the Flying Squad is equipped with a Ford Focus ST. Shameless product promotion, or simply the best weapon for the job? We’ll choose the latter, since the impact the new ST is making worldwide has as its root the dynamic brilliance of the car.
The Sweeney premiers September 12, 2012 in the U.K.
Further reading: catch our reviews of over 150 films of interest to car enthusiasts here: CarMovieEnthusiast.com!
Ford Press Release:
ALL-NEW FORD FOCUS ST PREMIERES IN THE SWEENEY
BRENTWOOD, Essex, 3 September 2012 – Ford’s first global performance car takes centre stage this month with a starring role in new film blockbuster The Sweeney.
Premiered tonight in London, Flying Squad detectives Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and George Carter (Ben Drew aka Plan B) lead a cast of crime-busting officers as they pursue London’s criminals in black Ford Focus ST high-performance hatchbacks.
On sale this month in five other colours including Tangerine Scream and Spirit Blue, the Ford Focus ST’s 2.0-litre 250PS EcoBoost engine and explosive acceleration ensure the film’s criminals struggle to make a clean getaway.
The Sweeney director and co-writer Nick Love, whose prior credits include The Football Factory and The Firm, said: “It was important for me to collaborate with Ford on The Sweeney as their legacy with the original TV show is so strong – they’re the perfect partner. I like the Ford Focus ST so much, I want one!”
The Ford Focus ST goes head to head with a Jaguar XFR on a high-octane chase scene in the film. The cars will again recreate their duel at CarFest North at Cholmondeley, Cheshire, this weekend after appearing at last month’s CarFest South.
Ford’s strong link with the 1970s Sweeney TV series saw Regan, Carter and their Flying Squad colleagues use a string of Ford Granadas, Consuls and Cortinas to make the streets of London a safer place.
Anthony Ireson, Ford Britain marketing director, said: “The new Focus ST is a hugely exciting car for Ford with terrific dynamic credibility. It will be a car for real driving enthusiasts, so Regan and Carter won’t be disappointed.”
The new Ford Focus ST five door is priced from £21,995, with a stylish estate body style debuting at £23,095. By the end of August, Ford dealers had taken over 450 orders for the Blue Oval’s latest performance car prior to it reaching their showrooms this month.
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If you saw Ron Howard interviewed at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, you saw an enthusiastic fan of Formula 1 talking about the drama and excitement he hopes to catch in his new movie “Rush“. Rush is the story of Niki Lauda and the 1976 crash that nearly ended his life, as well as the extensive rivalry between he and driver James Hunt. As our readers know, Lauda suffered extensive and disfiguring burns at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, an event he initially protested because of the dangerous safety conditions on the 23 kilometer circuit. Despite lapsing into a coma, he returned 6 weeks later to the Italian GP. An incredible act of sheer willpower and persistence.
This is a very serious and meticulously crafted film, with care taken to get the story and technology right and an estimated budget of $65M USD. Most of the cars used came out of private collections, ensuring accuracy.
Here is the first featurette of the film, which is just starting post-production work now for release in 2013. With footage from the film, and interviews with Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt), Daniel Brühl (Kicki Lauda), and others.
This is clearly going to be one of the greatest racing films ever made, perhaps the greatest, with emotional levels approaching - but not exceeding – that of Senna.
And we’ll forgive Ron Howard for his earlier car films Eat My Dust (where he starred, with a plot that was basically “Opie gets laid”) and Grand Theft Auto (where he also starred, but more importantly made his Directorial debut). Of course there is also his role in American Graffiti. None of these were standout roles for him, but nonetheless all are now a part of movie history.
Read our reviews of >175 good (and bad) films for driving enthusiasts on our site CarMovieEnthusiast.com.
Many readers might think that Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was the first spy film spoof ever made. That would be wrong, and those readers would be 20 years young or less!
One of the first major spy spoofs (of many) was a series of movies starring Dean Martin as Matt Helm. The Silencers is definitively a product of the ’60s, and perhaps of Las Vegas and the Rat Pack as well. And there is indeed something in The Silencers for car enthusiasts besides the period cars: how about the original Sex Wagon? When you are on the run from the bad guys, with a beautiful babe along, and need to spend the night – your handy 1966 Mercury wagon with a fold-out tent comes in handy. And not just any tent, but a virtual palace fit only for super-stud Dean Martin.
Read more in the press release below from one of our favorite museums, the Volo Auto Museum, who has the original prop car used in the filming.
And note, Elmer Bernstein composed the film score. This was not a low-budget film!
Read our reviews of over 150 car enthusiast movies in our site here!
VOLO, Ill., July 17 2006/PRNewswire/ — After 39 years of hibernation, the 1966 Mercury Station Wagon that served as a love nest for Dean Martin and Stella Stevens in the 1966 movie “The Silencers” is now on permanent display at the Volo Auto Museum.
A stylish, sexy adventure in the tradition of James Bond, “The Silencers” was a big hit for screen legend Martin and Playboy model Stevens. As secret agent Matt Helm, Martin saves the planet from a megalomaniac and his dastardly covert organization.
George Barris, builder of the original Batmobile and other famous Hollywood cars, created the perfect mode of transportation for a spy living the swinging lifestyle made popular by Martin and his Rat Pack friends. The Sex Wagon, as it’s referred to in the movie, features two separate bedrooms clad in leather upholstery, a fully-stocked martini bar, a tailgate modified to lower as a step, and a working TV, which was a big deal in 1966.
The museum recently purchased the wagon from the private estate of Swing Dance Hall of Fame Member Lou “Bart” Bartolo. A big fan of the three Matt Helm films, Bartolo purchased the wagon from a back-lot sale at Columbia Pictures in 1967 and kept it in storage until his recent death.
The museum spent months restoring the vehicle to its original condition. On July 1, 2006, during a special event at the museum, Barris was reunited with his Sex Wagon for the first time in nearly forty years. Believing the vehicle had been destroyed, Barris was shocked and thrilled to see the wagon once again and began to recall stories of Martin and Stevens and the production of “The Silencers.”
“For me, this car is a great reminder of a very special time in Hollywood history,” he said. “It brings back a lot of good memories.”
The Volo Auto Museum is home to the George Barris TV & Movie Car Collection, featuring the original Batmobile, The General Lee, K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider and close to 50 other famous vehicles. The Volo Auto Museum, 27582 W. Volo Village Road, Volo, IL, is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $8.95. Special rates are available for children, seniors, veterans and active military. Visit http://www.volocars.com or call (815) 385-3644 for details.
SOURCE The Volo Auto Museum
In Damnation Alley (1977) Jan Michael Vincent and George Peppard (joined by the delectable French actress Dominique Sanda - who of course ends up in a shower scene) have to drive across post-apocalyptic America on a mission. A nuclear war has resulting in the Earth tilting on its axis and the environment is so messed up that even Al Gore wouldn’t know what to do.
Pretty predictable stuff, but mild by the standards of the SyFy channel. The original book, by Roger Zelazny, was much better and predates the movie by ten years.
The $17M dollar budget resulted in abominably poor production standards, but for driving enthusiasts the star of the movie was the Landmaster. The 12-wheel armor-proof truck was perfectly made for the end of the world and is the real star of the film. Even able to handle giant scorpions, and of course the obligatory mutant humans. You didn’t think you’d be able to drive your S2000 around after the apocalypse, did you?
The Landmaster was built for the film by Dean Jeffries at Jeffries Automotive in Universal City, California. It uses 12 fully functional and articulated wheels, with the idea that should a tire be lost another can be rotated into place. It’s also amphibious, although this capability was portrayed in the film with special effects and a cheesy tiny model. But the rest of the shots are of the real thing, built in 1976 at a cost of $350,000 USD. The Landmaster survived to appear in several events on the car show circuit, but our understanding is that it is currently in disrepair after vandals damaged it. You may have seen the Landmaster in shows years ago and you may even have seen in on the streets of California since at one time it was licensed for street use.
- The definitive Landmaster site
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The modern car chase era started in 1968 with Steve McQueen’s Bullit. But there were any number of car chases in films before Bullitt, especially in the teenage delinquent era of the 50s when street racing inevitably ended up in terrible crashes, going over cliffs, or when teenage “devil dolls” pulled hold-up jobs from their cars and ruined their young lives (and the bad kids were always shown as an example to the good kids).
But what we call the modern era involves high performance V-8 soundtracks, squealing rubber, turns and jumps that are difficult but still possible (versus the cartoonish “Fast and Furious” type car films of more current times), and intelligent drivers who are not muscleheads but do appreciate their cars (aka not Dwayne Johnson or Vin Diesel). Steve McQueen gave us this era, and it was followed up by all sorts of actors including John Wayne (McQ) and Roy Scheider.
Yes, Roy Scheider, before he hit the big-time in Jaws (and his creative peak, All That Jazz). The Seven Ups was intended as a follow-up to The French Connection II, but only the bare background of the story remains. Scheider plays the head of an elite police unit in New York City (where else?) that actually existed. Their job is to take on the toughest crimes with the toughest methods. This is the best type of classic police movies: the city is tough, gritty, and violent, scheming criminals are pervasive and many cops are dirty, but a handful of dedicated officers are even tougher and are determined to clean up their piece of the streets – no matter what it takes.
Spoiler alert: thanks to YouTube, we can offer the entire chase here. But we still recommend that you add the film to your collection because it’s one of the absolute all-time greats for driving (and chase) enthusiasts. Background to the video clip below: the bad guys have just killed a police officer. Roy gives chase in his personal Pontiac Ventura, obviously enhanced with an engine it never came with and featuring plenty of extra power. The chase itself is fabulous and very well done, and you’ll recognize many parts of New York City from those days. Lots of fun details: no seatbelts, kids in street, and bad New York City traffic (but not a quarter as bad as it is now).
But watch what happens to end the chase – this is absolutely unique and you will feel what happens to Scheider. Could you come up with a better ending than that? No! Turn up your sound, go full screen, and enjoy:
Did you notice? The bad guy driver is indeed Bill Hickman. You know him from essentially the same role in Bullitt as the driver of the black Charger. Hickman worked on Bullitt, The French Connection, and The Seven Ups. He was also first on the scene when James Dean died in his Porsche 550 Spyder.
We love these old films about the dirty, impersonal, and cold New York City – the one that existed just before Rudy G cleaned it all up (and it’s a good thing he did). Films like The French Connection, The Seven Ups, the original (and far better) The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and of course Shaft (the walk thru Times Square is highlighted in college film courses) are the definition of that time period.
Read more about hundreds of great films for the driving enthusiast on our sister site CarMovieEnthusiast.com!
Released: 1978. Starring: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen. Directed by John Landis, produced by Ivan Reitman.
Yes, it’s actually a film for car enthusiasts: the Lincoln Continental (complete with suicide doors) and the old ‘vette are classics. And just look at all those other classics in the front yard of the Delta frat house below. Plus, this film is the definition of the term “road trip”.
We remember seeing this film on opening day - and the theater was packed. Every single seat taken. And we haven’t seen a film since where the audience was so totally involved in the film. It was an immediate smash hit and has been a cult classic ever since. There are any number of infamous quotes from the film, such as the immortal “Do you mind if we dance with your dates”. See more quotes here. Be sure to listen to the commentary on the DVD ”making of” to hear about the night the actors went to a real frat house party – and got their butts kicked big time!
Our site CarMovieEnthusiast.com lists over 200 car movies, where cars are the theme or major supporting element, with reviews and (if we’ve seen it or own it) details.
The 4th generation Lincoln Continental (’61-’69) is one of our favorite classic cars of all time, one of the must-haves for our own garage someday. It starts out immaculate…
…suffers greatly in the road trip sequence (“You f***** up, you trusted us. Hey, make the best of it!”), and is then reborn (“Ramming Speed!”) near the end of the film.
Whatever happened to the prop Lincoln? There were multiple versions made for the movie, and since then any number of fakes have popped up. You can see one of the fakes at Universal Studios in California. Fans of the movie (who, like us, can recite every line verbatim) will spot the differences from the original immediately!
The same person who made the infamous College sweatshirt for John Belushi is still making them after all these years. We have one ourselves… and it’s always interesting to see who in restaurants and bars recognizes it. You can buy the real thing here (not affiliated with this site, but my experience with them and the quality of the sweatshirt has been excellent). Don’t settle for imitations!
There is also a website page dedicated the cars of Animal House. See the Acme Animal House Cars page.
One of the best books ever written about Animal House is “A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever“. Doug Kenney played The Stork in the film, and died tragically a few years later. We finished this book in a single seating, and very much enjoyed remembering the glory days of National Lampoon and Animal House. Available in print or Kindle.
Once Steve McQueen’s Bullitt hit the screen in 1968, car chases became very popular in movies. Many different actors and actresses were cast in chases to draw audiences. Here are two clips featuring car chases by John Wayne.
The first is McQ from 1974, featuring Wayne as a Seattle cop with a very nice 2nd gen Firebird Trans Am and a couple of chases. The first chase is if particular interest because the video features overlays showing the streets involved and comments about the modern uses of the buildings and streets. For example, what was a laundry then is a building used by Amazon.com now. This clip should enable you to drive most of the streets involved (we recommend you skip the part under I5 South). We’ve done the drives, for this film as well as for Bullitt. If you are a fan of both Seattle and John Wayne, as we are, then watch closely:
The second is a trailer for Brannigan from 1975, featuring The Duke as a Chicago cop sent to London to bring home an American gangster. With some traditional Brits, a modern young lady officer (thankfully not a love interest, as Wayne was probably 40 years older than her), and a hot chase in a Ford Capri, this film was well received.
Don’t miss the Car Movies section of our website, for reviews of over 150 car films, where cars are the main theme or the star of the show.
Both films have unfortunately faded a bit into obscurity, but are still worthwhile collectibles for John Wayne fans. Here are our recommendations, straight from our own personal collection, along with some good reading about Wayne:
Well, it’s silly and pointless. The rock music soundtrack and all the flashing guns really hurts the original Green Hornet concept. And what’s the appeal of Seth Rogen in this role?
This is not your true to the original Green Hornet concept or story. Like most remakes, it looks like a FAIL.
Premier date is January 14th 2011.
Reference: See all of our reviews of movies about cars, or where cars are a central theme or major supporting element: http://www.carmovies.drivingenthusiast.net/. Including:
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