Watch The Driver
- 1 hr 31 min
The Driver from 1978 is a classic action thriller written and directed by Walter Hill. It stars Ryan O'Neal as the eponymous Driver, a mysterious professional getaway driver who hooks up with a gang of street criminals planning to rob a downtown Los Angeles bank. Bruce Dern plays the grizzled detective pursuing the Driver, while Isabelle Adjani portrays the beautiful, enigmatic Woman who becomes the Driver's companion. The Driver is a taciturn, stoic figure who speaks little and reveals even less about himself. He is supremely confident behind the wheel, with his precision driving skills enabling him to outrun and outmaneuver every cop in the city. His cool demeanor and focused intensity make him a formidable opponent for anyone who stands in his way. The Driver's criminal associates, on the other hand, are an impulsive and reckless bunch. The Leader (played by Ronee Blakely) is a foul-mouthed, hot-headed thug who relies on his brute strength to get what he wants. The Connection (played by Felice Orlandi) is the suave but slimy go-between who arranges the robbery and hires the Driver for the job. And the Glasses (played by Joseph Walsh) is the jittery safecracker who provides the technical know-how to break into the bank vault. Dern's Detective is a seasoned lawman who has seen it all and is determined to bring the Driver to justice. He is convinced that the Driver is the mastermind behind a string of recent heists and will stop at nothing to catch him. However, despite his best efforts, the Driver always seems to be one step ahead of him, leaving the Detective frustrated and increasingly desperate. Adjani's Woman is a mysterious figure who crosses paths with the Driver early on and becomes his reluctant accomplice. She is glamorous and sophisticated, with an air of danger and vulnerability that intrigues the Driver. Although they are clearly attracted to each other, their relationship remains ambiguous and unresolved, with both characters maintaining their guard and keeping their secrets close to their chests. The movie's plot unfolds at a deliberately slow pace, with long stretches of wordless tension punctuated by bursts of high-speed action. Hill's direction is spare and economical, focusing on the mechanics of the heist and the psychology of the characters rather than flashy camera work or excessive dialogue. The mood is gritty and realistic, with a sense of urban decay and lawlessness pervading the film. The climactic car chase, which takes up the final third of the movie, is a masterclass in stunt driving and editing. With the Driver and the Detective locked in a deadly game of cat and mouse through the streets of LA, the tension builds to an almost unbearable level. The sound design and music, composed by Michael Small, add to the sense of urgency and danger, with screeching tires, revving engines, and pulsating synthesizers creating a propulsive, adrenaline-fueled soundtrack. Ultimately, The Driver is a film about the psychology of crime and the allure of danger. It explores the motivations of both the criminals and lawmen who inhabit its world, as well as the blurred lines between them. It is a gritty, tense, and stylish thriller that has stood the test of time and remains a benchmark for the genre.