’70s Car Movies

’70s Car Movies

14 Episodes

America’s love affair with the automobile hit a peak in the 1970s, and so did Hollywood’s. While cars had long been synonymous with freedom and escape, they took on a new centrality in the decade’s popular cinema. Whether an expression of character, a tricked-out fetish object, or the literal vehicle on the road to enlightenment, the car was a powerful symbol of an age of individuality and personal liberation. Featuring ambling road trips (THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT) and high-octane chases (GONE IN 60 SECONDS), souped-up Chevys (DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY) and customized Cadillacs (SUPER FLY), these cinematic joyrides capture the “it’s the journey, not the destination” spirit of the times.

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’70s Car Movies
  • ’70s Car Movies Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Duel

    Episode 2

    Directed by Steven Spielberg • 1971 • United States
    Starring Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone

    In Steven Spielberg’s legendary feature debut, an insane trucker pursues an innocent motorist (Dennis Weaver) along a barren stretch of desert highway. And that’s . . . pretty much it. B...

  • Trafic

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jacques Tati • 1971 • France
    Starring Jacques Tati

    In Jacques Tati’s TRAFIC, the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, kitted out as always with tan raincoat, beaten brown hat, and umbrella, takes to Paris’s highways and byways. In this, his final outing, Hulot is employed as an auto company’s di...

  • Le Mans

    Episode 4

    Directed by Lee H. Katzin • 1971 • United States
    Starring Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen

    Steve McQueen is in the driver’s seat in this pure adrenaline rush of speed cinema, which may just be the most authentic car-racing film ever made. Filmed on location in the French countryside...

  • The Last Run

    Episode 5

    Directed by Richard Fleischer • 1971 • United States
    Starring George C. Scott, Tony Musante, Trish Van Devere

    Retired Chicago getaway driver Harry Garmes (George C. Scott) has never been lucky: his wife has left him; his son is dead. He should be quietly enjoying his retirement on the coast of P...

  • Fear Is the Key

    Episode 6

    Directed by Michael Tuchner • 1972 • United Kingdom
    Starring Barry Newman, Suzy Kendall, John Vernon

    Based on a novel by thriller specialist Alistair MacLean, this excitingly unpredictable action joyride stars Barry Newman as an underwater salvage expert who, after his family is killed in a plan...

  • Super Fly

    Episode 7

    Directed by Gordon Parks Jr. • 1972 • United States
    Starring Ron O’Neal, Carl Lee, Julius Harris

    Charismatic Harlem cocaine dealer Youngblood Priest (Ron O’Neal) lives in luxury, drives expensive cars, and plans one last big score to escape his life of violence. But when corrupt cops working for...

  • The Last American Hero

    Episode 8

    Directed by Lamont Johnson • 1973 • United States
    Starring Jeff Bridges, Valerie Perrine, Geraldine Fitzgerald

    Based on an article by Tom Wolfe, this engrossing and authentic drama follows the saga of Junior Jackson (Jeff Bridges), the wild son of a backwoods North Carolina moonshiner (Art Lund)...

  • The Seven-Ups

    Episode 9

    Directed by Philip D’Antoni • 1973 • United States
    Starring Roy Scheider, Jerry Leon, Tony Lo Bianco

    The sole directorial effort by Philip D’Antoni—who had produced the hits BULLITT and THE FRENCH CONNECTION—features, like those films, one of the most thrilling car chases in all of cinema. This ...

  • White Lightning

    Episode 10

    Directed by Joseph Sargent • 1973 • United States
    Starring Burt Reynolds, Jennifer Billingsley, Ned Beatty

    Gator McKlusky (Burt Reynolds) is a moonshine runner who wages war against corrupt police officials in this two-fisted action extravaganza full of rousing car chases, bone-crunching brawls,...

  • The Cars That Ate Paris

    Episode 11

    Directed by Peter Weir • 1974 • Australia
    Starring Terry Camilleri, John Meillon, Kevin Miles

    The debut feature from Australian New Wave legend Peter Weir is a brilliantly original blend of cracked comedy and macabre horror that Stanley Kubrick selected as one his all-time favorite films. Woe be...

  • Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

    Episode 12

    Directed by John Hough • 1974 • United States
    Starring Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke

    After robbing a supermarket to finance his racing career, wannabe NASCAR driver Larry (Peter Fonda) finds himself on the run from the law in a 1969 Dodge Charger, with thrill-seeking one-night stand Mar...

  • Gone in 60 Seconds

    Episode 13

    Directed by H. B. Halicki • 1974 • United States
    Starring H. B. Halicki, Marion Busia, Jerry Daugirda

    Cars were harmed in the making of this movie. Indeed, no less than 127 vehicles were destroyed or damaged in the course of production—ninety-three of them alone in the electrifying, forty-minute...

  • Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

    Episode 14

    Directed by Michael Cimino • 1974 • United States
    Starring Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis

    Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges are a pair of modern-day outlaws in this bold, tough, and witty crime thriller, the feature debut from director Michael Cimino (THE DEER HUNTER). Thunderbolt (E...