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Ryan O'Neal , Bruce Dern , Walter Hill    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Product Description


A tres cool mix of noirish grit and slam-bang action this caper film from director Walter Hill (48 Hrs, The Warriors) is required viewing for car-chase fanatics and devotees of '70s cinema. Ryan O'Neal and Bruce Dern are terrific as opposite sides of the law: respectively, a supernaturally skilled getaway car driver, and the dogged detective who's pursued him at the expense of all else. For his second feature film, Hill keeps dialogue and character development at bare-bones level (the characters are named after their primary function: O'Neal is the Driver, the stunning Isabelle Adjani is the Connection) and focuses on mood, tone, and, above all, some of the most stunning automotive action captured on film. The DVD offers widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film; unfortunately, a number of scenes cut from the theatrical release, including a prologue featured in The Driver's TV prints, were not included in this long-awaited DVD release. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

Ryan O'Neal drives the getaway car for his buddies' robberies. Bruce Dern is determined to catch him.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives new meaning to the term "slam bang" Nov. 10 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Walter Hill is the doyen of American action films, hands down. 1978's The Driver is one of his best; the focus here is on momentum, pure and simple. There are great car chases and the slam-bang stuff is there in buckets--especially a great scene inside a parking garage in which the title character played by Ryan O'Neal demolishes a vermilion Mercedes Benz by screeching around corners all over the place, showing just how good a driver he is to skeptical crooks who need him as their getaway man.
A laconic flick to be sure, The Driver gives nobody names. Bruce Dern is the snartass cop who's after the driver and even recruits bank robbers to nab him. Natch, that doesn't work. You could even say this is the quintessential Hill flick (although I am very partial to Trespass), since dialogue is overshadowed by car chases and all the other stuff manipulative people (cops and criminals both) do to make their place in the world. What dialogue there is wastes no words, just like the plot wastes no time on what could be a possible romance (O'Neal and French lovely Isabelle Adjani), instead having the two of them partner up for a lot of dough--knowing glances, yeah, but no gooey stuff.
Ronee Blakley is also here in a smaller role as another great looking go-between for the driver, but she's not on screen a lot, and there's never even the faintest hint of any hanky-panky between them.
This is not only one of the best Hill flicks, but without question one of the best American action films ever made. The recent drivel, I mean, Driven, with Stallone deserves to crash and burn, while The Driver--tight as a drum and slick as greased lightning--is a red hot roadster of a film.
See it when you need a serious revving up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drive, he said Aug. 12 2002
Format:VHS Tape
It's too bad director Walter Hill will likely be remembered more for providing Eddie Murphy with his first big screen showcase (in "48 Hours") than for his overall contribution to the American action film genre. Hill's tough-as-nails 1978 noir "The Driver" is arguably both his least-known and best work. Ryan O'Neal is quite effective as a dour, sociopathic "wheelman" who hires himself out as a getaway driver for assorted criminal enterprises. Bruce Dern is at his sleazy best as the cynical but driven cop on his trail. O'Neal and Dern play this classic cat-and-mouse noir scneario to the hilt (similar to Pacino and DeNiro's relationsip in 1995's "Heat"). Isabelle Adjani's icy beauty well suits her role as O'Neal's fatalistic girlfriend. It's ironic that Ryan O'Neal's best films seem to be the ones where he doesn't have to recite much dialogue ("Barry Lyndon"). Supposedly the word count for O'Neal's lines in "The Driver" totals a scant 350 (!) according to a "factoid" that prefaced a recent cable airing. Well worth seeking out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
It gets three stars for (mostly) the car chases and the quality of menace that O'Neal manages to put into the two unaccented words "Go Home".
You know you're in for someone's ego-trip attempt at The Great American Existentialist Film when the characters have no names, just labels -- "The Driver", "The Player", "The Cop", etc.
It becomes more obvious when every other bit of dialog is a dry, "clever" bit of cynicism.
And it's right there in your face when the major plot revelation in the film is that people don't always do what they "always do".
It's far from awful -- Hill is a decent if overrated writer/director. I mean, he's working the same vein as Leone, Peckinpah and Siegel, just not in as rich a part of the ore.
Well worth seeing for the transitory fun of the story and the incredible driving sequences -- comparable to the original "Gone in 60 Seconds" or "Vanishing Point" and superior to, say "Bullitt". But most people i've known who have kept the tape, kept it they can watch that Mercedes in the garage, the chase inside the warehouse or the other driving sequences, not to revel in the story.
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Format:VHS Tape
This is a true piece of american noir. It seems like a diverting little car chase movie the first time you see it, but O'Neil's stoic, nihilistic getaway driver has a way of bringing you back for more viewings. It's interesting that Ian Muldoon mentions the similarity to a Jean-Pierre Melville film in his review, because I think this movie owes a lot to Melville's LE SAMOURAI (on which John Woo's THE KILLER was also based). Just like Melville's hit man Jeff kills without conscience or reflection, yet still abides by an unbending code of honor, O'Neil's Driver is, ironically, more moral in his way than the obsessed, power-mad cop (Bruce Dern) who pursues him.
Walter Hill no frills, straight-to-the-gut style really works here. The costumes, sets, and cinematography are dark, understated, and really engrossing, especially on repeated viewings. I believe that this is a movie that grad-school film students will be watching 100 years from now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the single best car chase films. Sept. 17 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Amazing-and to this day a film that is not loved as much as it should be. Ryan O'Neal is great as the driver-a nearly silent Hawksian professional getaway driver. Bruce Dern is also good as a cop bent on catching this outlaw. Lots of western parallels. Great scene wherein O'Neal is asked to demonstrate his driving skill and he destroys the car that his fellow crooks have brought. Lots of great car chases-some of the best ever. Walter Hill really does a heck of a great job here(like he has before). A great film that deserves the cult following it has-it even deserved more-well worth owning.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic
This film makes GONE IN 60 SECONDS seem like a movie for 8 year olds. Although sold as a "car chase movie" there is a lot more to this film than that especially its... Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2000 by Ian Muldoon
5.0 out of 5 stars BADAS%
Published on Jan. 26 2000 by "deathsquad"
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourites
This has to be one of the greatest films ever. A movie stripped down to the bare essentials. Simply the story of two obssesed guys who go head to head, one a an ice cool getaway... Read more
Published on Dec 22 1999 by Jagdev
5.0 out of 5 stars "Martial arts" -- a battle of wills and skill
Can you get away with it? How good are you, Driver? "Cowboy desperado." This on the surface seems like a cops and robbers show, but look beneath the surface. Read more
Published on Dec 4 1999 by Katherine M. Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars "Martial arts" -- a battle of wills and skill
Can you get away with it? How good are you, Driver? "Cowboy desperado." This on the surface seems like a cops and robbers show, but look beneath the surface. Read more
Published on Dec 4 1999 by Katherine M. Lawrence
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining little chase movie
The Driver is a good cops and robbers film with Ryan O'neil and Bruce Dern ( in a good performance ) going head to head in a battle of wits. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Slick
This is really a nice, slick little film about a professional criminal (Ryan O'Neal) who is the best get-away driver around. Read more
Published on June 9 1999 by dsrussell
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