Hold on to your theater seat for 4-star auto chases

Despite all the special effects that technology makes possible for today's filmmakers, the best car chase scene was made 41 years ago – at least in the view of the Times Online, the website of the Times (London). "Bullitt," a cop flick shot in and around San Francisco, is top-ranked, partly because actor Steve McQueen, a noted automotive buff, did such an impressive job at the wheel of a 1968 green Mustang Fastback GT. In a segment that runs nine-plus minutes and can be viewed on YouTube, McQueen, playing a detective, starts slowly, tailing a couple of mob hit men. Soon, however, the pace quickens until the cars are screaming over bumps, careening through turns, and barely avoiding collisions. The Times's picks for "the wildest, most innovative, and spectacular car chases in movie history," with the year each movie was released:

  • 1. Bullitt (1968)
  • 2. The Italian Job (2003)
  • 3. The French Connection (1971)
  • 4. The Bourne Identity (2002)
  • 5. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
  • 6. Ronin (1998)
  • 7. The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • 8. Vanishing Point (1971)
  • 9. Terminator 2 (1991)
  • 10. Quantum of Solace (2008)
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