The films that influenced Driver: San Francisco
10th Aug 2011 | 16:21
If you're reading this then chances are you've scanned the QR code found in your new look magazine for an exclusive Martin Edmundson interview. Welcome! We ran into Driver: San Francisco's creative director last month and asked him to tell us about his favourite car chase films. Here are his picks...
The Driver (Walter Hill, 1978)
Ryan O'Neal plays a professional getaway driver, Bruce Dern is the cop who cuts a deal with a criminal gang to frame him. "Probably my all-time favourite. It was one of the big inspirations for the first game" says Edmondson. If you ever got stuck on the original Driver's car park 'driving test', blame The Driver - it was a moment stolen straight from the movie.
Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968)
"Obviously has to be in there, and obviously we have the Mustang and Charger from Bullitt in Driver San Francisco." It's from Bullitt the original stole the trademark flying hub caps - the bad guys' Charger loses /five/ of them during the chase. "We have 130 licensed cars in this game and almost all of them have alloy wheels so we didn't do the hub cap physics this time. I kinda regret that, actually, but it would have been a lot of work."
Ronin (John Frankenheimer, 1998)
"Not a seventies car chase but superb! Stunning! Big power-slides!" Five freelance "agents" work together to track down a package wanted by Irish terrorists and the CIA. Like all the best car chase movies, every shot of the key chases were done for real - there's not a lick of CGI in any shot as a powerhouse cast throw Audis, Peugeots, BMWs, and Citroëns around narrow European streets and mountain roads.
Gone in Sixty Seconds (HB Halicki, 1974)
"The original, not the horrible, horrible remake" says Edmondson. The remake focuses on Nicholas Cage's attempts to steal fifty cars in one night aided by his old gang and some CGI bullshit; the original gets all bar one car out of the way early to make way for a 45-minute car-wrecking chase as pro stunt driver HB Halicki races the '73 Mustang across LA. The Mustang Mach One - "Eleanor" in the film, also appears in Driver San Francisco.
Blues Brothers (John Landis, 1980)
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi star in a comedy musical which ends with cops and Illinois Nazis chasing Jake and Elwood, and wrecking dozens of cars in the process. "It's just gotta be in there! They wrecked an /unbelievable/ number of cars in that film. We have a mission where you're driving a '74 Dodge Monaco and you're being chase by six Dodge Monaco cop cars - that's very Blues Brothers-y. We're just throwing cars at the player."
There are nods to all five in the final game. Not enough? Driver: San Francisco also includes the white Challenger from Vanishing Point, three Trans Ams from three Smokey and the Bandit movies, the Pontiac Le Mans from The French Connection, and the Dodge Monaco and Charger from the Dukes of Hazard.