There are two iconic movie car chases in the early 1970’s – and both films starred veteran Action star Roy Scheider. Which one had the best car chase?
First up was 1971’s Oscar-winning Best Picture The French Connection. Gene Hackman plays Popeye Doyle, an unothrodox NY Cop out to bust a heroin gang from France. His partner is Roy Scheider.
The incredible car chase underneath an elevated train is unbelievable. Hackman loses his suspect on the train, so he runs down to the street, grabs a care and chases the train from underneath it.
Hackman did some of the driving but the extremely dangerous stunts were performed by legendary stunt driver Bill Hickman with Director William Friedkin filming from the backseat. Friedkin operated the camera himself because the other camera operators were married with children and he was not.
Two years later, The Seven-Ups starred Scheider as a NY cop out to bust the mob. The film’s name is based on a police unit that handles crimes with sentences more than seven years.
The film gets bonus points for a terrific scene with the iconic Actor Joe Spinell:
“Look at my hands.” (He shows puffy, gnarled fingers to Scheider) “I’ve been here before, so do what you gotta do. I didn’t talk then, and I won’t talk now.”
The film’s signature car chase takes place along NY’s west side highway, and the end to the chase was the idea of stunt driver William “Bill” Hickman. It is an “homage” to the death of sex kitten Jayne Mansfield!
This chase last almost ten minutes, and has a shocking end to it. Here are the scenes for both films: which is your favorite? Vote now, but there’s no wrong choice – both of these movies are classic 70’s action thrillers – make sure to watch both films, because they are great.
The French Connection –
The Seven Ups –