With Fast 7 opening this past weekend, I just couldn’t get my mind off of tough guys and their cars; below are the four—some bad boys, some cops, and even a racer—films worth watching when you have the need for speed.
Bullitt (1968) – An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.
Le Mans (1971) – “Steve McQueen takes you for a drive in the country. The country is France. The drive is at 200mph.” That was the brilliant tagline of Lee H Katzin’s paean to endurance racing. The plot’s badly in need of a pit-stop, but it’s essential motor-sport porn for petrol-heads with a couple of hours to burn.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies. This famous James Dean movie has a noteworthy drag racing scene. It’s a deadly chicken-run, and once you’ve seen it, you can’t forget it.
The French Connection (1971) – New York Detective “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner (Roy Scheider) chase a French heroin smuggler.