Top Ten Chase Scenes

By: Dave Micevic

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Posted 06/28/2007 - 08:29:19 AM by reklaw:
 wow, neither ronin nor bullitt made this list?!
Posted 06/28/2007 - 08:34:56 AM by cables:
 really. maybe even a bourn identity?
Posted 06/28/2007 - 08:42:07 AM by florenz6:
 Being a good No. 13 on the list, I appreciate James Stewart chasing Kim Novak in the streets of San Francisco ("Vertigo"), inckuding vehicles, churches and flower shops:)
Posted 06/28/2007 - 08:56:36 AM by meatbreak:
 Does the chase around the house in 8mm, with Come To Daddy blasting on and off count? That was great.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 09:00:10 AM by meatbreak:
 Oh, and well done for not including the second half of Apocalypto. I imagine that will be making a lot of peoples chase lists, especially since it is pretty much a perfect case of a 'linear contest of endurance' (down waterfalls and up trees notwithstanding)
Posted 06/28/2007 - 09:41:13 AM by gradys_kitchen:
 How about the Mad Max trilogy? Three movies created as one giant buildup to a climactic, yet doomed chase scene of spectacular proportions.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 10:32:13 AM by dmicevic:
 Actually, the chase in Road Warrior just missed the cut. I finally decided against it because I felt there were too many similarities between it and the chase in Raiders. Plus, upon review I found it to be somewhat less exciting than I remember. The other one I was strongly considering, but ultimately left out, was the chase in Raising Arizona. I still feel slightly bad about omitting that one. By mentioning it here I hope to make amends. As for Ronin and Bullitt, they've been on so many car-chase lists over the last few years, does their absence here really bother you that much, reklaw?
Posted 06/28/2007 - 10:48:23 AM by AdamPark:
 The skateboard scene from Back To The Future should have made it...
Posted 06/28/2007 - 11:02:13 AM by florenz6:
 Actually, "Diva" was a great choice. I sw the films years ago, and I was surprised that it still got me on the edge of the seat. At its time, the film was booed and applauded in similar measures. Some didn´t like its stylishness. But, now, with the distance of some years, the stylish things somehow changed into being quite rich. Surprise! As I said, I would add "Vertigo" (finally, James Stewart was chasing ghosts!) Hitchcock did fantastic chase scenes, but in most cases they were not so long. For example, look at the old classic "The 39 Steps", and you will find several fanatstic examples. But one of the greatest chase scenes in the work of "Old Alfred" was the one with Cary Grant in the middle of nowhere, looking for protection in a corn field when being attacked by an aeroplane! The scene started absolutely slowly, with two people waiting at a bus station on a hot and blue day. You would expect everything at that moment, but not that murderous chase!
Posted 06/28/2007 - 11:33:32 AM by dmicevic:
 Yes, North by Northwest is another great choice. Like the above examples, it just missed making it. I actually had it placed at number 11 in the final ranking. If I were to do the list again, though, I might reconsider including it.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 01:46:08 PM by cwperry:
 It certainly doesn't belong on the list, but I always laugh my ass off when I think about the chase scene in Roger Corman's Ron Howard vehicle (no pun intended) Eat the Dust, which was so low-budget they loop the footage during the chase and you see the cars do the exact same thing twice.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 01:47:25 PM by cwperry:
 That's Eat My Dust. I was conflating it with John Fante's novel Ask the Dust, for some psychotic reason.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 02:07:40 PM by J_R_K_:
 cool as ice. vanilla got robbed yo. plus that had some tecmo bowl.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 03:10:19 PM by traydeuce:
 The car chase at the end of Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Lang's last German film, really should've made this. Definitely in agreement with your number one though.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 03:32:02 PM by HalfNelson:
 Did the beginning chase scene from Casino Royale (2006) miss the cut as well?
Posted 06/28/2007 - 03:33:16 PM by center52:
 Wallace and Gromit, "The Wrong Trousers." The train chase carried out on small, model train scale between Gromit and the penguin: awesome.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 05:06:02 PM by dmicevic:
 Dr. Mabuse was definitely in the running. And, believe it or not, for a time I was contemplating that chase in Casino Royale. Unfortunately, once that movie settled into an actual plot it became too damn ridiculous to factor it into the final tally. Remember, I said the film itself had to actually be good for me to consider it. If Bond had spent the duration of the film chasing that guy around not only would it have made this list, but I probably would have included it on my ten best of last year.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 06:43:34 PM by saltlick:
 "Convoy" is nothing but a long chase scene. And it's GLORIOUS!
Posted 06/29/2007 - 12:19:07 AM by MonsterKids:
 "Le Samourai" is just the perfect choice for the top slot! I thought of it from the moment I began reading this list. So gwang. Had anyone considered the blimp/helicopter chase from Frankenheimer's "Black Sunday" or the amazing DUAL-helicopter chase/tightrope exchange in the Dharmendra vehicle "Professor Pyarelal"?
Posted 06/29/2007 - 02:59:14 AM by meatbreak:
 The 'free running' scene in Casino Royale is rubbish compared to District 13. Probably why Sebastien Foucan and David Belle fell out, because Belle's stunts in D13 are sublime, not only that but the camera work is superior in it too. Sure, there's no deeper meaning hidden in the chasing or the stylisation of it like all the top chases dave has picked, but for visceral human ability there's far more on offer in D13 than Bond.
Posted 06/29/2007 - 03:01:13 AM by meatbreak:
 ...and most other films you'd care to mention. I wonder whether chasing the shark around in Jaws counts too.
Posted 06/29/2007 - 03:28:09 AM by Bratpack:
 Good choices. I must say, I'd forgotten quite how brilliant that chase in Diva is. Thanks for the reminder. As for outside contenders... The Castle of Cagliostro featured a sublimely silly car chase that Speilberg reputedly hailed as one of the greatest chases ever. I think the chase in Ong Bak is pretty special, too, although I imagine you'd exclude it on the grounds that it's nothing more than an excuse to showcase Tony Jaa's athleticism. Still, the guy's got chops.
Posted 06/29/2007 - 09:42:46 AM by stigurh:
 I think there's really only one missing: The Blues Brothers. Should've made the list. Definately.
Posted 06/29/2007 - 11:15:26 AM by florenz6:
 With all due respect, i think, Peckinpah´s "Convoy" was an awful film. The director was on his spiral down, the story thin, and all possible suspense running empty. Two days on, and we will have all important chases in cinema history listed. So here is another one that´s definitely a great film. Like "Convoy" its story line is similarly thin, but executed with Kafkaesque brilliance: Steven Spielberg´s debut: The Duel (at least in Germany, it had this title, "Das Duell")
Posted 06/29/2007 - 12:04:06 PM by armadillo:
 Thought-provoking list that understands that obvious choices like Bond chases and films like "The Fugitive" are more or less "granted". Too bad Fritz Lang has been left out. Not just "Mabuse" as has been mentioned already but the chase in "M" is ground-breaking and almost every chase sequence in this Top Ten, esp. Le Samourai, owe it a huge debt.
Posted 06/29/2007 - 01:15:16 PM by aBearAware:
 What stigurh said... The chase at the end of Blues Brothers owes a lot to the past chases (some on this list) that it parodies, but I could argue that it's the definitive *car* chase of all time. It's like, what's the point of ever doing a car chase again, after you've seen that?
Posted 06/29/2007 - 01:22:24 PM by pushtouch:
 "As for Ronin and Bullitt, they've been on so many car-chase lists over the last few years, does their absence here really bother you that much" That comment is more applicable to The Third Man chase than Ronin. Really, I don't see anything special about the Third Man. It is the most unexciting "famous" chase. I also find it insulting that the Point Break chase (Keanu chasing the Ronald Reagan guy) didn't get mentioned. The problem with these kind of lists is that modern movies are always overlooked, even though they're technically and stuntwise far superior. Another problem is that the chase must be taken from an acclaimed movie which is also a load of bollocks. Some of the worst movies contain noteworthy chases. Bad Boys II is a perfect example:the highway chase is brilliant, and yet the movie itself is a crapfest.
Posted 06/29/2007 - 02:26:18 PM by FHJay1:
 Definitely agree with Le Samourai, although ironically I didn't find the scene suspenseful, but think it's still fascinating. I disagree with pushtouch though, as just because modern stuff is stunt-wise more superior (although The General is hard to top in that regard), it doesn't mean the scene overall is better. Also, a movie does typically have to be good to have an exciting chase scene, because at least as far as I'm concerned, if I don't care what happens to the characters, then the chase scene isn't exciting.
Posted 06/29/2007 - 09:27:11 PM by idunnowhy:
 guess you already have a spielberg on the list, but pretty much the entire film "Duel" is a great chase
Posted 06/30/2007 - 12:32:00 PM by florenz6:
 Well, here is a great No. 30 for the list: Preston Sturges´ "Sullivan´s Travels" (1941). The Coen Brothers were closely connected to that film when they did "O Brother Where Art Thou". The chase scene is great and ultimately ridiculous at the same time. Joel McCrea gets a car ride in a vehicle driven by a thirteen-year-old child. He is chased by an army of journalists in a big bus who wants to document Sullivan´s journey into real life.
Posted 07/02/2007 - 04:21:47 PM by The_Big_Crunch:
 Yeah, Ronin is a glaring omission. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the chase scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Great use of first-rate horseback riding "chase scene" technique; climbing over, through, around, and UNDER a moving truck. The use of the truck in terms of choreographing the fight scene. The wonderful flourishes of humor. Dragging the stunt man behind the truck and having him climb back onto the thing after actually climbing across the bottom of the truck (while it was moving at a fairly high-speed)... Really, in terms of direction, camera work, and sheer life-and-limb endangerment on the part of the stunt man, this is an insanely inspired chase scene.