Watch Eat My Dust!
- 1 hr 29 min
Eat My Dust! is a 1976 American car chase comedy film directed by Charles B. Griffith and starring Ron Howard, Christopher Norris, and Brad David. The movie depicts one wild car chase after another through the dusty and dry landscape of California, and it is generally credited as spawning the genre of car chase comedy. The plot of the film, although not particularly intricate, revolves around a love story between a small-town girl Darlene (Norris) and Hoover Niebold (Howard), the son of the local sheriff (Warren J. Kemmerling). When Darlene expresses her desires to go fast and experience life to the fullest to Hoover, he decides to steal his father's car with her and go on a wild ride through town. With Darlene egging him on, Hoover speeds through the town, upending the locals in a cloud of dust and chaos.
The sheriff, soon realizes what has happened and leads a group of deputies on a high-speed chase after Hoover and Darlene. However, Hoover is an inspired driver, often taking to dangerous maneuvers and breaking through buildings just to evade capture. As the chase continues, more and more cars get involved, and the stakes become higher.
What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse, with Hoover and Darlene evading the sheriff and his team, using their superior driving skills and daring maneuvers to escape. The chase, which includes other dangerous drivers, ends up taking place in various settings â ranging from the town to the open highway and dusty rural roads.
While the film may seem formulaic, with the car chases serving as the main attraction and the plot being thin at best, it undoubtedly entertained audiences at the time of its release. Eat My Dust! became a box-office hit and a cult classic, spawning many imitators and subsequent films that followed the same basic formula.
The main appeal of Eat My Dust! lies in the fast-driving scenes, which are excellently choreographed and executed. The camera follows the cars from all angles, often placing it right in the driver's seat, giving viewers a nail-biting sense of being in the middle of the car chase. Despite the film's low production value, the editing of the driving scenes is first-rate, making it as thrilling today as it was back then.
In addition to the driving scenes, the actors' goofy performances play a part in the movie's charm. Ron Howard, who had already gained popularity as "Opie" on The Andy Griffith Show, was a good fit for the role of Hoover Niebold, the ambitious, quick-witted, and always daring driver. He brings a sense of likability to the character and makes the audience root for him from the get-go.
Christopher Norris, although not given much character development, is a good match for Howard, playing Darlene as a tough but flirty girl, who's up for a wild ride. The performance of Warren Kemmerling as the sheriff is also notable, and he adds a level of gravitas to the movie's otherwise goofy tone.
The film's success inspired a number of sequels, such as Grand Theft Auto, which was directed and starred by Howard himself, and Smokey Bites the Dust, a similarly-themed movie released the following year. Eat My Dust! also influenced other movies of its ilk, such as Cannonball Run, which would not have been possible without its groundbreaking innovations.
In conclusion, Eat My Dust! is a cornerstone of American car chase comedies. Its importance in the sub-genre cannot be overstated, as it set the template for many of the films that followed it. Despite its thin plot and low production values, the film remains entertaining and thrilling today, thanks to the excellent direction, editing, and acting. It is an enjoyable and fun watch that never takes itself too seriously, making it both influential and enduring.
Eat My Dust! is a 1976 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.4 and a MetaScore of 54.