Car chase

From ArticleWorld

Car chases in films are notoriously action packed and involve at least one vehicle being chased by any number of others, usually through packed and obstacle strewn streets. They are found largely in action films, although not exclusively, and over the years have come to involve such vehicles as buses, tanks and trucks, as well as more standard cars. The use of a car chase in a film can create excitement for the viewer and is relatively inexpensive to make, hence their popularity. In general they also refrain from causing any damage to human life and so can be included in films with a lower certificate, making them more accessible to a higher number of people.


The 1968 film Bullitt contains what is recognised as the first modern car chase. It was long in duration and involved the vehicles travelling at high speeds. Cameras were used to show that the lead actor, Steve McQueen, was indeed behind the wheel and driving the vehicle, and other cameras were located inside the car to give the audience a feeling of being in the car with him. However, car chases at this time were generally filmed on closed roads and so the first to be filmed on a busy street with other traffic and pedestrians really made an impact. This was in the film The French Connection. Car chases have continued to evolve and each tries to be more spectacular and visually exciting than the one before it. Collisions were introduced to add the excitement that the viewer craves.


The perpetual development of car chases in films has led to stunts becoming more and more daredevil in nature. No longer satisfied with a character driving a car whilst being pursued, now characters must move from one vehicle to another, ride on the top of a vehicle or drive on two wheels to navigate a narrow alley. The viewer frequently sees a passenger, or even the driver, balancing perilously out of the vehicle whilst shooting at the pursuers and it is vital that the audience suspend their disbelief in order to fully enjoy this type of car chase.