on September 9, 2002
This is one of the all-time greatest car movies every made. the chase scenes are spectacular. Unlike some other reviewers, I found the plot plausible and intriguing.
HOWEVER, the dvd RUINED this movie. Although the bonus features are great, they cheaped out and didn't include the original score. Instead of the funky 70s music that totally fit the mood (stuff) that I could have whipped up on my home pc in about 10 minutes.
The missing songs and score totally ruined this otherwise terrific movie. You also get to see Halicki's widow insert herself all throughout the special features to the point of nausea. She even credits her own PARENTS with the making of the dvd! WTF???
on April 29, 2010
As a licensed race car driver who has worked on film stunts in the past, most recently Death Race with Jason Statham, I can appreciate the realism of the action in this film. The guerilla filmmaking techniques make it that much more edgy, and the fact that one man wrote, financed, directed, starred in and did all the stunts for this film make it more phenomenal. A must-have for any car enthusiast!
The original version. The acting is poor , the sets are poor , the dialogue is poor but , this is where the franchise begins , and everything that follows owes allegiance to this one. We all know the story of a car thief engaged to steal a list of cars for an off shore customer , but here are some interesting facts. The cars required are listed on a chalkboard and to confuse things each car is given an alias ( female ) name , for instance Donna. This is why the Mustang is referred to as Elinor. Mr. Lee Iococca is listed in the credits , who was a major force at first Ford , and then later Chrysler. Perhaps this is why most of the cars in the film are Fords and Chryslers. There are some Cadillacs ( one gets burned , on purpose ) and some Caddy limos , but the action cars whether items to be stolen or police cars or accident victims are almost exclusively Fords and Chryslers. There is a Pantara ( Ford powered ) and a Manta in the mix as well.
After setting the scene for a bit the real action begins . After stealing the Mustang, Elinor # 1 , the owner runs an add saying it didn't have theft insurance , and they return it!! In the act of stealing Elinor # 2 he is seen and the chase is on. While the car chase in the movie called Bullitt may be more famous , this car chase makes Bullitt look like a walk in the park. In real life this would be very bad , and indeed some of the injuries generated by the 40 min. car chase are noted . After out running and out smarting the police
our (anti) hero limps into a car wash and manages to steal by slight of hand what is in essence Elinor # 3.
A " B" movie all the way , that is good fun from the get go. Whenever I re-watch it I have to view it twice , to get everything out it.
Some reviews caution about quality , but quality wasn't that good originally.
on November 2, 2005
I enjoyed the remake of this movie, its not all that bad. But when I compare it to this original, it has nothing on it. Ignoring the fact this movie was made on a shoestring budget and by a guy who ran a junkyard, it was excellent and entertaining. But the fact that it was made on a shoestring budget and by a guy who ran a junkyard makes it to me, all the much more amazing. This movie is inspiration for aspiring indie film makers everywhere, and i beleive it fits well with other movies like mad max and vanishing point to name a couple. I am forever glad to have this movie in my collection as well. I was however disappointed to learn that the original ST to the movie was removed on the dvd, however i never actually heard it - but i'm always disappointed when people try to 'improve' a movie like this to fit in better with the present. It just takes away from the feel. Anyways while watching this, the acting in it has never occured to me as being bad. I don't know, it might just be bad. Anyways I must only recommend this movie to the people who like the old school movies in which the car is the star. Mad max, vanishing point, smokey and bandit, ect. fans and anyone who enjoy indie films of ole should not be disappointed.
on June 22, 2003
Okay all of you people who say "I can make a movie better than that!" here's an example of someone with no film making experiance tries to make a movie.Don't give me that "What about Quentin Tarrantino." stuff.That's one out of a million.But you've gotta hand it to H.B. "Toby" Halicki,he had a good concept for an action movie:A car thief has to steal 50 cars without getting caught.However,Toby's inexperiance shows.Though he had some good ideas about sub-plot(Talking about settling down with his girlfriend),he didn't have the experiance to focus the story enough.The film fluxuates in between action,comedy,and documentery(Some of the scenes that explain the art of auto theft were actually real methods at the time).Still,in the end,the film's climatic car chase with "Elenor",is the only reason worth giving the film a look.It is,as my review title suggests,like watching "World's Scariest Police Chases".One of the DVD's perks is the audio commentary by the lead cameraman and the editor of the film who provide some interesting insights into the movie(It also helps to pass the first 50 some-odd minutes untill the big chase).
on March 8, 2003
When Gone in 60 seconds was originaly filmed in '74 I was not quite in kindergarten therefore had no knowlage of this movie.I became aware of it while my wife and I were perusing the shelves of the local Blockbuster and saw it next to the Nicolas Cage version.I had to see it (and no ,they would not sell it to me as a pvd ). As car movies go I liked it for the cars. I was less impressed with the originals story line and acting ability of the cast. Then again I wasn' there for the dialouge anyway. I was there for Elinore.(I'm a hard core Ford fanatic)As far as the driving ability displayed here I'd have to say that it is right in there with the other great car wreck movies such as Vanishing Point 1970 version(the newer version of Vanishing Point with B.H.90210's Jason Priestly is a waste of time and film,don't bother watching it), Blues Brothers 1 and 2,Smokey and the Bandit and Gone in 60 seconds with Nicolas Cage. When I was younger than I am now I bent the ocasional rule about only taking MY car out of the driveway and therefore identify with Cages role as Memphis Raines. I was in the life and got out with my a** intact. I did not like the premise of boosting cars shearly for profit.I was there for the car and never let harm come to any,and all were recoverd no worse for the wear. The newer version is a haunting memory for me and my youthful stupidity. The older one was just plain fun with an adreniline rush delivered mainline for a car crazy wrench turner and former street racer.BUY BOTH GONE IN 60 SECONDS original and remake period .You WILL love these movies. (Side note:Nicolas cage did all of his own stunt driving to include driving in reverse gear through a warehouse and on to the surface street in front of a semi wrecker.)
on October 23, 2002
If you need a glossy hollywood production with chicks like Angelina Jolie working as mechanics (yeah, right) and big name actors like Nicholas Cage and Robert Duvall to think a movie is good then you probably won't like the original "Gone in Sixty Seconds". Real people aren't actors. This show has much more of a real feel to it. To say a movie is good doesn't mean it has to have actors acting like people they really aren't. In this show with some minor deviations these people are what they really are. If real life is boring to you then you need to see movies like Batman, Superman or True Lies. This movie is raw stuff. Some reviewers don't like the way it has been altered and maybe I wouldn't either but I haven't seen this movie in 28 years so I really don't remember. I did notice the music couldn't have been the same but the picture is lots better. If you think car chases are exciting this is one of the best. But if you want to watch something that won an oscar then watch some [stuff] like "Silence of the Lambs".
on October 8, 2002
Objectively speaking, this is not a very good film.
The "acting" is mostly non-extant, and the dialogue sounds as if the film was shot "wild" and later post-dubbed. The plot meanders in several directions it didn't need to go.
That said, fans of car-chases will get their money's worth with this one.
As has been pretty much beaten to death in other reviews, the basic story involves a steal-to-order car-theft ring operating under the ideal dual "fronts" of a junkyard (Halicki's own "Mercantile and Junk Emporium", i'm sure -- seen in much more detail in his second film, "The Junkman [q.v.]) and a firm of insurance-adjustors.
The opening half-hour or so is a sort of crash course in car theft methods, as the gang takes a comission to steal 48 specific cars by a certain deadline.
As we all know, as the deadline approaches, only "Eleanor" -- a yellow 1973 Ford Mustang Mach One -- remains unaccounted for.
And herein lies a joke that many, almost thirty years later, in a time when the Mch One is a "classic", may fail to get -- in 1974, yellow Mach Ones might not have been as common as VW Beetles, but they were probably more common than, oh, say, 1973 MGB-GTs... So here they are, having gotten all of the extics -- including Lyle Waggoner's personal Ferrari, for instance -- and they can't find an example that meets their criteria-for-theft of a car that, at the time, was so common you could count on seeing one or two a day in almost any city of any size.
(There is a funny sequence with an ironic payoff when they THINK they've found the car they want, but have to put it back...)
And, of course, when they DO find "Eleanor", the chase, literally, is on. Forty-odd minutes and 93 smashed cars later, Halicki puts the battered but still gamely-rolling Eleanor through one of the single most spectacular car stunts i have ever seen on film -- the flex and twist in the body as it lands after The Jump, captured in slow-motion, bear witness to the stress on both the car and the driver, as the tires spinand smoke as he battles for control.
And, of course, the final gag in the car-wash is nicely ironic and funny.
If nothing else, this film is a tribute and testimony to the power and durability of Seventies Detroit Big Iron -- though i usually prefer the subtlety of a European sports car, sometimes the only way to go is with the sledge-hammer unsubtlety of Cubic Inches and bags and bags of torque and oversteer.
So much better than the Nick Cage in-name-only remake that there's not comparison.
Too bad about the DVD "remastered" soundtrack, though ((SOmeone's suggestion that you find a cpy of the original mono VHS release and listen to that while watching the DVD sounds appropriately weird to me.))
"Toby" Halicki was killed on the set of the abortive production of "Gone in 60 Seconds II" in a freak, non-driving accident. Too bad; i'd love to have seen what he could have done with a little more experience and the bigger budgets he would probably have gotten as time went on.
Highly recommended, even if it doesn't have the original soundtrack.
on December 28, 2001
don't listen to maltin. this film is superb. this makes me also think of that great chase scene in Bullitt. This one is much better though. Bullitt's chase scene last a relatively short time compared to the one in gone in sixty seconds. I like this one better. It's got some nice music to compliment the stellar chase sequence good dtunts(especially at the end of the film with the scene entitled "big jump" which i will always cherish) i love that nicely made 1973 souped up Ford Mach 1 Mustang. i really don't like yellow cars but this one oh baby.
here's the scoop a pro car thief makes a deal to steal 48 nicely made exotic and high performance vehicles. The most dangerous one is of course "Eleanor" the yellow mustang which is nicely made. After him and his car thieving gang get every car except one eleanor there starts the problem. the gang almost gets caught with stealing other cars beforehand leading to police suspicion and careful watch over other cars. In fact the second an el dorado gets into the station and it is discovered to be full of heroin a detective comes knocking at there door! They barely manage to get out of that situation and there comes the chase scene the fanous 93 cars totalled in 40 minutes. man that's good!the film might have faltered right here but instead it works to perfection. how they did it i'll never know. Definitely one of the top action films ever made.
on October 15, 2001
This, the original movie from the 1970s, was the first movie produced and written by stunt driver Halicki (who unfortunately was killed early on in making a sequel). It is a lot less flashy than the remake, but this gives the movie a far greater sense of realism. The first part of the movie is almost like a documentary and is basically a behind-the-scenes look at an auto theft ring and how it operates, drawing from Halicki's great knowledge of all things associated with cars. This first part of the movie is quite interesting and has some great moments of humour and a few minor car chases, but mainly serves to set up the second half. The basic plot is that the ring has a limited time to steal a large number of very specific high-priced cars. For a reason I won't spoil, the head of the ring gets upset with one of his best men and sets him up so that the police can ambush him on his last job. This leads to the exciting second part.
The second part of the movie is one long, sustained car chase lasting about 40 minutes and is one of the best in movie history. Reportedly 93 cars got totalled during the filming of this sequence, and I believe it. It was all filmed on weekends without filming permits using a car collection Halicki built up partially from police auctions, including all the police cars that were used. Overall, not much of a plot, but it is a very humourous, exciting and educational movie filled with lots of great and/or funny 1970s cars and fashions.