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The Driver (1978) – Review

the driver 1978 poster

The Driver is director Walter Hill’s second feature in which Ryan O’Neal plays a loner but also an excellent getaway driver for hire.  Bruce Dern is the detective who becomes obsessed with catching him. The more O’Neal leaves tantalising clues at the crime scenes, the more Dern becomes a man possessed with catching his prey.

This film contains two enthralling car chases which punctuate both the beginning and end. The film has a typically gritty 70’s cop film look and it really lets the visuals take over at times, The driver has very little dialogue and lets his work do the talking and Bruce Den is superb as the detective who has become obsessed with capturing his elusive prey. You can see the obvious influence and inspiration the film had on”Drive” the stylish, noir thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks decades later.

driver poster

The Blu Ray was released, region free by Twilight Time in the USA but was limited to 3000 units, so sold out quickly and now is selling for high prices. Thankfully Studio Canal in the UK has now released it onto HD and have done a pretty good job.

The 1080p picture is solid no dirt or scratches were noticed and the presentation is very good. Audio is DTS-HD MA mono and does the job fine, in fact, the soundtrack is excellent especially during the chase scenes. Extras are limited. All you get is a deleted opening scene and a trailer.

Walter Hill did some great action thrillers and this stands up as one of the best and lives up to its cult status.


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