Rent The Driver (1978)

3.6 of 5 from 175 ratings
1h 28min
Rent The Driver Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
The time is the present. The Driver (Ryan O'Neal) is the best "Wheel Man" for hire. His work in driving getaway cars are exhibitions in excellence, works of art. The Detective (Bruce Dern) is the top cop of the force. Nobody he tracks down ever eludes him. Except the Driver. As the Driver pulls off another job, the Detective lays in wait for him. But the Driver has already planted his alibi, and is one step ahead of him. Through his operative, the Connection (Ronee Blakely), he hires the mysterious young woman, the Player (Isabelle Adjani), to lead the Detective astray...
Actors:
, , , , , , , , Denny Macko, , , , , Richard Carey, Fidel Corona, Victor Gilmour, , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Lawrence Gordon
Writers:
Walter Hill
Studio:
Optimum
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Thrillers
Collections:
Heist Movies: Masterminds and Mavericks, People of the Pictures, Remembering Ryan O'Neal, A Brief History of Film...
BBFC:
Release Date:
23/10/2006
Run Time:
88 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
14/07/2014
Run Time:
89 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Alternative Opening Sequence
BBFC:
Release Date:
05/12/2022
Run Time:
92 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • New Masterclass: Walter Hill
  • New Interview whit Walter Hill
  • Alternate Opening Sequence
  • Trailer
  • Teasers

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Reviews (6) of The Driver

"Just drop me off here mate!" - The Driver review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert
31/01/2015

Hugely overrated "existentialist...neo noir." Saw this years ago and couldn't remember being impressed but was fooled (yet again) by a ridiculously high rating on Rotten Tomatoes and so thought I would give it another go on Blu-ray. Shouldn't have bothered.

Who ever thought that Ryan O'Neal could play a badass? He can't. Are we really meant to believe that the nasty hoods in the film are in any way intimidated by his wavy hair and studied attempt to look 'hard'. I'm all for going against type but he just doesn't pull it off.

Bruce Dern plays 'mad' detective but not nearly mad enough. In one scene, he attempts to provoke Ryan O'Neal by throwing a lukewarm cup of coffee on his crotch. O'Neal grimaces at the thought of the dry cleaning bill but just manages to stop himself going loco. Also, check out Bruce's curly perm and deep California tan. Reminded me of Papa Lazarou.

Yawn...had to stop myself fast-forwarding past the car chases and any scene featuring Isabelle Adjani's blank expression but mercifully the whole thing is wrapped up in 89 minutes. However, in that time you could watch two episodes of Cagney and Lacey or one and a half re-runs of Traffic Cops. Go for the Cagney and Lacey!

2 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

Squeals and Squealers - The Driver review by CH

Spoiler Alert
16/06/2021

What will happen to Hollywood when automobiles are not only driverless but guided by pavement devices which limit speed? Such tyre-squealing chases - often after the real owner has mysteriously left the keys in the ignition – are familiar, and can be enjoyed by those happier with pedals of a bicycle. The thought comes to mind during The Driver (1978). The cars have names (a Mercedes is notably roughed up) but the actors simply go by the task allotted them in a series of heists throughout a raw Los Angeles. The eponymous man at the wheel is Ryan O'Neal, a professional hired for his skill at making a getaway which leaves others standing – or lying on their sides as their car takes a tumble.

This is all too much for Bruce Dern, a decidedly weird detective whose hair aspires to an Art Garfunkel cut. He is determined to bring in O'Neal, even if it means that he has to depute a particularly unsavoury gang to act as go-betweens. Add Isabelle Adjani – well, love interest is pitching it a bit high – and here is something that, on the streets, is indeed explosive; elsewhere, in seedy rooms, it is, as written and directed by Walter Hill, close to the existential. Here are people with chasms between them, listlessness alleviated only by breaking the speed limit and turning the wheel just in time to avoid something coming from another direction at the lights.

Meditative it isn't, but its sparse dialogue is sharp – and one cannot help recall that scene in Truffaut's La Nuit Américaine where a stunt driver wears a long wig so that, on screen, a woman appears to be at the wheel. And one wonders whether Hill had to use day-for-night techniques to bring in all this more safely.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Great 70s Crime Film - The Driver review by GI

Spoiler Alert
25/07/2022

Director Walter Hill made a series of very cool films in the 70s and 80s, many have reached cult status and viewed today they exude a European arthouse vibe even though they're deeply rooted in traditional American genres. Once described by Quentin Tarantino as one of the coolest movies ever made The Driver is a superb example of Hill's film style. Sharply edited, low on exposition, little if any character background, fast paced action and a tight plot. Written by Hill with Steve McQueen in mind (he turned it down) this stars Ryan O'Neal, not an actor normally associated with tough action cinema, as the titular Driver (all the characters are unnamed in the film and referred in the credits by their role), a professional getaway driver for hire. He has a fixed fee, only works with top level criminals and accepts no mistakes. He's also the obsession of Bruce Dern's Detective, who will do anything to catch his man even setting up a bank job and ensuring the Driver is hired. It's a cat and mouse game with the story concerned with who is the cleverest. Great chases, gutsy action and well directed this is a fantastic 70s crime film, one of Hill's smaller but better for it films and worth seeking out if you've never seen it. Dern is great as the very unpleasant cop and it's the first American film role of Isabelle Adjani, who later regretted her involvement. A major influence on Drive (2011).

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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