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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tony Baretta: The Driver 1978- A Movie About The Getaway Driver & the Detective Who Has to Catch Him


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

The Driver is a great action/drama thriller with Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern and many others. About a hotshot getaway driver played by Ryan O'Neal who drives for bank robbers and other robbers and gets them out of the clear and gets paid for that. Apparently The Driver has race car experience, but that is never made real clear in the movie. The Driver has never been caught and this big shot police detective or sergeant and his crew gets assigned to track The Driver down and catch him.

One thing I love about this movie is the realness in it as it relates to life in general. There are no Saints or Devils in it. The Driver the supposed bad guy, is not evil, but certainly not the good guy in the movie. He drives for robbers, but doesn't enjoy hurting people or hurting innocent people. He just takes care of himself and does his job to survive. Not because he wants to hurt people. The lead cop in the movie played by Bruce Dern, is suppose to be the good guy. But lets his ego into his job and uses controversial and extra-legal tactics to try to catch The Driver.

Like a set up a operation involving known robbers to get The Driver to drive for them on the job. To rob a bank that the police know is going down ahead of time and then when the job is done, the police will move in and catch everyone. But release the robbers that were in on the operation because they helped the police out. One major flaw in that plan. The head bad guy in that operation decides to screw the detective and instead of taking the money to the place that he and the detective agreed on, they took the money to a different location so they can get away.

If you like fast paced, high action and dramatic movies that never slow down and are always moving, that are also realistic, The Driver is a great movie. Probably the only Ryan O'Neal movie that I like and one of several Bruce Dern movies that I do like. Because it is not really bad guys versus the good guys, but guys on both sides that have jobs to do and go about those jobs the best that they can. With no one really winning at the end, which you see the movie for yourself to find that out.