|Directed by||Walter Hill|
|Produced by||Lawrence Gordon|
|Written by||Walter Hill|
|Music by||Michael Small|
|Cinematography||Philip H. Lathrop|
|Editing by||Tina Hirsch
Robert K. Lambert
|Studio||20th Century Fox (North America)
EMI Films (International)
|Release dates||July 10, 1978|
|Running time||91 min.|
|Box office||$2,250,000 (US/Canada rentals)|
The Driver is a 1978 crime film written and directed by Walter Hill, starring Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, and Isabelle Adjani. Based upon similarities in plot elements, it is heavily influenced by Jean-Pierre Melville's film Le Samouraï. The film is also notable for its impressive car chases, its no-frills style of filmmaking, and its rarely speaking, unnamed titular character.
The Driver (Ryan O'Neal) - real name unknown - has made a career out of stealing cars to use as getaway vehicles in big-time robberies all over Los Angeles. Hot on the Driver's trail is the Detective (Bruce Dern), a conceited and otherwise-nameless cop who has his own name for the Driver: "Cowboy." Since the Driver has never been caught, the Detective goes to ever-increasing lengths to bring him down. Ultimately, the Detective sets up a bank job in order to bait and trap the Driver. Even when said plan threatens to wreck the Detective's own career, he remains steadfast in his obsession to bust the Driver.
- Ryan O'Neal as The Driver
- Bruce Dern as The Detective
- Isabelle Adjani as The Player
- Ronee Blakley as The Connection
- Matt Clark as Red Plainclothesman
- Felice Orlandi as Gold Plainclothesman
- Joseph Walsh as Glasses
- Rudy Ramos as Teeth
- Denny Macko as Exchange Man
- Frank Bruno as The Kid
- Will Walker as Fingers
- Sandy Brown Wyeth as Split
- Tara King as Frizzy
- Richard Carey as Floorman
- Fidel Corona as Card Player
- Victor Gilmour as Boardman
- Nick Dimitri as Blue Mask
- Bob Minor as Green Mask
Saying it's "probably advisable for film noir aficionados only", film critic Duncan Shepherd of the San Diego Reader praised the film highly (awarding it the highest 5-star rating). "The whole show, in fact, is something like a coded message passed from the moviemaker to the devotees of the genre, in full view of, but beyond the full understanding of, the rest of the audience", according to Shepherd. The film grossed a total of 1,102,183 admissions in France.
The movie was a commercial disappointment in America but did well overseas.
In popular culture
Both Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) refer to this film: a shot and setup of Vincent Vega skidding out into the road with an overdosed Mia Wallace in the passenger seat in Pulp Fiction is copied from the opening chase of The Driver; and Beatrix Kiddo being described as "the cowgirl [who] ain't never been caught" in Kill Bill: Vol 2 is copied from Ryan O'Neal's character description in The Driver as "the cowboy who could not be caught". According to Wensley Clarkson's book, Tarantino - The Man, the Myths and His Movies, Tarantino lists The Driver as one of the "coolest movies of all time."
Drive, 2011 film
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p258
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p234
- Review of The Driver in the Reader.
- JP. "The Driver (1978)". JPBox-Office. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
- LARRY GORDON ROLLS HIS DICE Taylor, Clarke. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 08 Oct 1978: n35.
- Tarantino - The Man, the Myths and His Movies by Wensley Clarkson. John Blake, Publisher, 2007. ISBN 1-84454-366-8
- The Driver at the Internet Movie Database
- The Driver at the TCM Movie Database
- The Driver at AllMovie