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The best car crashes in films

MatrixReloaded-CarFlip.jpgTo commemorate my fiancé crashing her car this weekend, in quite spectacular style, we're going to spend this feature looking at the best car crashes in films.

From impressive single car crashes, to multiple car pile ups. Which car accidents have hit you the hardest? Which look the most real? Or which have just been so spectacular that they've left you looking at the screen with your mouth aghast?

Before anyone thinks I'm heartless, can I just point out before we begin that this feature was her idea.

There are a couple that I can think of right off straight away, and the first is just for sheer number in any one film, The Blues Brothers.

That film holds a record for the number of cars crashed from start to finish. Although they aren't incredible to watch, you can be amazed at the number of police cars involved in one crash, one after the other.

Another that immediately springs to mind is the highway chase scene from The Matrix Reloaded. Some of the most spectacular stunts and crashes you'll see in a chase sequence. Not only are the car setups and stunts amazing to see, but the mixture of fights and special effects just elevate them to another level.

Something that always sticks in my mind is the moment where the agent leaps on top of the car bonnet and it crumples instantly, lifting the rear up in the air as he leaps forward towards another vehicle.

One of the simplest I've seen, and it works really well, is in Final Destination, when that girl walks into the street and you don't suspect a thing, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, BANG! That buss hits her. Simple and scares the audience half to death. That shows that car crashes can be a little different to the big car pile ups and still deliver thrills.

Then, of course, there's a spectacular stunt sequence of the pile up in Final Destination 2. Whatever you think of that scene you have to accept that those sequences were superbly choreographed and edited together. Or how about that head on car crash with the two racing cars in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (review)? That was one hell of a crash.

So what car crashes can you think of that have delivered on thrills, action, and sheer amazement? Are there any in such fims as The Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit, just about any James Bond? Which can you think really took your breath away on screen?



Before anyone thinks I'm heartless, can I just point out before we begin that this feature was her idea.

I have to give it to Z, I like her sense of humor, this means she is out of danger. :D Lots of rest still and an excuse for Richard to be uber-sweet and attentive to you, as early as now applying the vows of for sickness and in health....

Going back to the feature!

I agree about the Final Destination mention, it happened so out-of-the-blue we were like, where did that come from? Most car crash or car chase scenes can be found on most Bond films I just need to think about which I ones I always preferred.

What about Back to the Future, where Marty (Michael J. Fox) created a makeshift skateboard from a little girl's scooter and evaded Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) and his gang chasing him in their car, and eventually caused them to crash into a manure truck with Biff having to say "I hate manure!" It's comical I know!

Another is The Bourne Identity where Bourne (Matt Damon) maneuvered away from the CIA and the police in a battered-old vintage Austin Mini through heavy traffic with his girlfriend Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente) next to him - as he negotiated through narrow alleyways, across pavements, up one-way streets, and down stone steps. The extended chase sequence ended when one of the pursuing cop motorcyclists crashed into a Peugeot 405, and they pulled into a parking garage.

In the Casino Royale trailer it looks like we are going to be treated to another pulse pounding car crash scene, cant wait to see it on 17 November!

Crash, by David Cronemberg. The whole movie deals with the issue, so I reduce my list to this one in particular.

And I also recommend the novel by J.G. Ballard from which the film was made.

Twister has a couple of good ones in it. The most memorable one, though, was the pole going through the Dread Pirate Roberts' (what's that guy's name???) vehicle when they get too close to the Tornado.

Hap: Cary Elwes (perhaps best loved as the Dread Pirate Roberts, but now probably (sadly) known best as the guy who cuts off his own foot in Saw)

Best Car Crash?

1) Terminator 3 has the most gleeful vehicular mayhem during an early chase. I swear the director is like a kid in a sandbox smashing his toys together.

2) With the mention of the Blues Brothers, I also like the fly-by in Midnight Run where all the cop cars are turned over and wrecked in the New Mexico Desert. Great little scene.

3) John Frankenheimers Ronin has some great chase sequences, including a car going end over end when shot with a shoulder launched RPG rocket courtesy of Mr. De Niro.

4) The French Connection's chase (and mayhem) under Chicago's El-Train is iconic.

5) The long-shot collision in the opening minutes of Dawn of the Dead remake is quite haunting actually.

6) Not a film, but the dairy truck in the simpsons which hits the tree at less than 1 km/h and blows up spectactularly pretty much says it all about car-crash realisim in the average film

I thought the original Gone in 60 Seconds held the record for most automotive wreckage in a single film? At any rate, I'll nominate that film because it has an actual car accident in there.

Simone: I actually like The Bourne Identity for the car crashes, mainly because everything does not explode on impact. That mini sequence is perhaps the best of the series because you can actually see what's happening!

Peter: Oh and of course Crash! That has some strong aftermaths too.

Hap: I love the fact huge vehicles just fall out of the sky in Twister, that's one of the most unnatural things to see...that and flying cows!

Oh yes, Elwes is Roberts and no one else. That's an all time favourite film and character for me.

Triflic: 1) I blot that film from my memory...that said the helicopter piling into the base entrance at the end is superb.

3/4) Ronin is amazing for car chases, as is that sequence in French Connection. However neither really carry exceptional crashes for me.

James: I'm convinced it's Blues Brothers for number of cars. There are multiple sequences of multiple police cars falling over each other.

I've never seen the original...you say a real car crash?

Agh, youre right about Twister hap!

Triflic, I have yet to see French Connection but it's coming soon from my rental queue!

What about I, Robot?

I have said for some time now that my £5(now my $15) spent must be worth a couple of car chases some crashes and a little bit of eye candy.

For me in reverse order:

300 cadiallacs and 17mins of non-stop car chasing, also known as The matrix reloaded. Rich you must remember me jumping up and down on my seat in the cinema??

The jag versus the aston on ice in - Die another day

The corkscrew jump where the pol-lice-man ends up in the back seat - The man with the golden gun

2CV chase through the olive trees

and the best crash, has to be Mad Max, big heavy V8s crashing head first into each other. oh yeah.

I'd go with...

1. Erin Brockovich: she get's in her car and drives off toward an intersection and crashes with another car. One long take. Not sure how they did it, but it is effective.

2. Adaptation: The car driven by Chris Cooper's character is hit from side-on. You see the impact from inside the car.

Ah SnowLeopard, I was thinking about that same kind of scene from the TV show Cold Feet in the UK. It has a very similar scene and it's incredibly shocking and real.

How about Ferris' Bueller's Day Off with Cameron kicking the car? That was a pretty amazing crash to watch on first viewing while imagining the possible outcome.

Richard...yeah, it also reminds me of the crash in The Bourne Supremacy when Bourne is driving the taxi and is hit side on. It seems to have become it's own kind of 'money shot' for car crashes.

Yeah, I thought I'd seen it a few places before. Still, very effective. You get to see the entire crash as it happens from the victims viewpoint and before they realise too.

Toy Story 2 - what about the crash caused by the toys walking across the road? Sheer class, and that "will he / won't he get turned into Mr Mashed-Potato Head" moment is real edge of your seat stuff.

not quite film, but surely the A-Team needs mention :-P

recent Bollywood flick "DON" had a pretty awesome car chase.

Yes, a real crash. A car being driven by the film's director slams into a telegraph pole at one point. According to the IMDB, someone else on the film nearly got killed in another accident. Both scenes got left in the film. IMDB also says the total number of cars wiped out in the film is 93, though the actual officially recognised world record for smashups is apparently held by the film's sequel.

It's a terrible film by any objective standard, made by people who ran an auto wrecking yard (appropriately enough) rather than a film company and who had little real idea about how to make films, and so didn't know that, as a general rule, movies don't usually have car action scenes that take up the last 40 minutes of the film. Of course, that 40 minute car action sequence is the very reason why the film works.

The police car pile up in the French movie Taxi 2 is really fun.

If you have never checked out the original Taxi and it's sequels it's well worth doing so.

The world record for the amount of rolls by a car in one stunt has officially been broken by the Aston Marton DBS stunt in the new Bond film Casino Royale. While we are talking about car crashes, I thought that this one might just make a surprise entry next week.

The previous record, according to Digital Spy, was held by a stunt on BBC televisions Top Gear for six rolls, now that's been beaten by the Bond crew with a record breaking seven.

The one which I felt had the most "impact" was the car crash in The Descent. You don't see it from far away but it actually felt like you were in the crash.

One of the coolest car crashes I remember is from either "Along came a spider" or "Kiss the girls".. at the beginning of the movie a white corvette crashes and tumbles and then gets hurled off the bridge where it was crashing.

I've read the comments and you have forgotten Lethal Weapon 4 and Mulholland Drive ;)

Hey Edgar, want to give us some more detail about them for those that haven't seen them?

Well, in Lethal 4 when Riggs and Murtaugh are chasing the bad guys in the freeway and they are stopped/smashed by a huge truck...
And in Mulholland Drive, is obviously when the character of Laura Harring is almost killed by the men in the car at the beginning of the movie, another car with drunk guys crashes into them.
(sorry if there is grammatical errors, I'm from Portugal :P )

Thanks Edgar - no problem with the grammar. Thanks for that, I haven't seen Mulholland Drive yet and everyone keeps raving about it.

I love Portugal, honestly. Beautiful country...I really enjoyed travelling through northern Spain and down through Portugal.

Edgar, I love all LW movies!

I'm Katy,
from Singapore,
and I'm 15 y.o

Hi, Everybody
I've studied English sinse Spring .
It's very!
I would like like to meet girls and practisice My English with them.

Thanks all!!

the best car crash is in the transporter

aria twistys .

the music video "alive" done by the band POD has a very nice car crash



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