Skip to comments.Film Noir of the Week - The Driver (1978)
Posted on 01/14/2020 10:01:28 AM PST by simpson96
This week we take a look at the intense neo-noir, The Driver. Directed by Walter Hill, this cold neo is a perfect example of how film noir evolved into experimental crime films in the 1970s. The Driver is a cold, lean piece of pure cinema. A night time world of criminals and angry cops.(snip)
Starring a very disco cast, the film has barely any dialog. Bruce Dern gets the most lines as the man chasing the "driver." Mostly he frustratingly barks at middle-aged-hard-life-cops played by day-player actors that peppered every crime films of the time. Beautiful Isabelle Adjani is the female lead. And Ryan O'Neal is the handsome driver. Sporting long-ish, wavy hair and an open collar, he looks more like a playboy trying to pick up Diane Keaton at a bar than a hardened criminal.
Originally Steve McQueen and Robert Mitchum were at least close to playing the Ryan and Dern roles. The film would most definitely be more beloved -- even possibly a classified as a classic -- than forgotten if they had those guys in it. But would it be a better movie? I'm not so sure. Ryan has no actual backstory but his look just makes him more interesting. What is his story anyway? Hell, the guy doesn't even have a name.(snip)
The film succeeds when you realize and accept there's not much plot or humor.
Just enjoy the ride.
(Excerpt) Read more at noiroftheweek.com ...
It was nice when you could fit more than two in the front seat unlike in the eco trash we drive now.
I’ve never heard of it. Looked it up on IMDB and a bit of interesting trivia from ccthemovieman — “No one’s name is mentioned in the entire film! Try to think of any other film you’ve ever seen where this is the case.”
Is it worth watching? Hmmm, not sure.
Never heard of this one. I’ll check it out.
Review #1Pass. There seems to be a reason that none of the on-line libraries have it.
The only reason I didn't give this one star is that the car chase scenes are so good. They are all filmed well and the lighting is good. You can't say the same for the rest of the film. It's like the director really knew what he wanted to do for the driving scenes then handed the rest of the movie off to the second unit director who just phoned it in. It was a struggle to watch the "movie" parts of this film. I would love an edited version with just the chase scenes.
Vroom! Vroom!.... With the exception of 2 very good car-chase scenes (one at the beginning and one at the end), The Driver, pretty much, sucked. For me, this was clearly one of those movies where I swear that they were making its story up as they went along. Its badly-conceived situations and its unintentionally laughable dialogue left me believing that story coherency wasn't a real concern for its producers since they believed that with the apparent combined star-power of Ryan O'Neal, Isabelle Adjani, and Bruce Dern in their precious, little picture the ever-gullible audience would accept just about any sort of half-ass nonsense (insensitively tossed their way).
What also lost The Driver some significant points was the downright awful and completely unconvincing performance of the rat-faced, frizzy-haired Bruce Dern as "The Detective". Dern's presence, literally, made my skin crawl. He was clearly miscast for his part as the "concerned" and conscientious cop. In conclusion - To say that The Driver was very much a product of its time (the 1970s) would truly be an understatement.
I think that I have seen bits and pieces of this film. I’ll make an effort to watch it. Thank you for sharing this one with us.
Walter Hill made some fine movies.
WTF is a noir?
Better see your doctor.
Hell in the Pacific (1968) Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune
The same film listed as 1978 is here:
So cool it hurts.
Loved the remake.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.