Gone in 60 Seconds
- the original
friends get together to watch this original
1974 movie -
three opinions. Now which is right?
Racerchick Cajo: When my brother Paul showed up at my
house with some videos to loan me, I was
initially pleased. Between "Fight Club" and my
returned "Survivor" tapes, however, I found
"Gone In 60 Seconds".
"Excuse me, you
must have me confused with someone who gives a
crap about Nicolas Cage", I sniffed. Paul
patiently pointed out that what he offered up
was the 25th anniversary edition of the 1974
original, not the inexplicable remake.
"There's a 40 minute car chase that crashed
over 90 cars", Paul intoned with reverence.
Okay, now even I
had to perk up at stats like those, so I
called Nika and told her that we had to watch
this piece of art together. At her place,
'cause she's got the big TV.
the three of us on Saturday night (Paul joined
the chicks for the heck of it), and once they
were finished mocking my lack of car savvy we
settled into the flick.
If I didn't have
contempt for the remake before, just 10
minutes of the original made me wonder who on
earth thought this movie could be duplicated,
let alone improved. H.B. Halicki's labour of
love does not sport a brilliant script,
high-tech special effects, or actors for that
What is does have
is dozens of talents drivers and a plot that
makes sense: Maindrian Pace has to steal a lot
of cars in a short period of time. The
dialogue is mercifully minimal and the cars
plentiful What more needs to be said?
Just this: get
thee to a Blockbuster, posthaste.
I first heard of the original Gone in 60
Seconds from a friend of mine a couple of
years ago. But he didn't sell it very well and
I couldn't see myself enjoying a movie with a
tow truck chase in it. When we heard of the
remake we knew we had to see the original
first. It took two days of phone calls and
driving to several video stores to finally
find the prize. Five of us gathered in front
of the home theatre to behold what is surely
one of the best car chases of all time. We all
gave it two greasy thumbs up. How could we not
like a movie with over 40 minutes of
controlled (and uncontrolled) over steer and
About a year ago I
picked up the re-mastered 25th anniversary
version with bonus scenes and recently watched
it again with Nika and my sister Cajo. My
sister may not know a tiger from a lion, but
she knows good action and was thoroughly
impressed. Our host, the gracious Nika, also
seemed pleased with the action and a look back
at Lyle Wagner.
The movie was a
privately funded venture with the front man,
H. B. (Toby) Halicki, getting all his friends
in the act. It's pretty amusing because none
of them could act. But this movie floats on
the skill of the stunt drivers and the brutal,
blatant and beautiful automotive destruction
in the main chase. I'm not going to spend time
bashing the remake (not too much anyway) but
the original is far more basic and believable.
No wood-loving arch villains, massive
explosions or rival car theft gangs in this
one. The characters were car thieves and the
writer didn't make them out to be anything
This movie is one
of the best kept secrets in the car-lovers
archives. It easily ranks up there with
Vanishing Point, Two Lane Black Top and
Bullitt. The rental of this movie is well
worth it just to see the funky 70's style.
Okay - I cheated - I went out and bought the
DVD to watch again; this time without the
wine, chatter and "hot yet too young" brother
of Cajo, to distract me. Funny - but the movie
was still the same.
Once you put aside
the bad suits and sideburns, and go beyond the
BAD acting you have a movie that can't help
but make you a part of the fun those
car-loving actors...er.... I mean racers are
having. Unlike Nicolas Cage's new
remake the action is real and the mistakes are
noticeable...well, maybe not to Cajo, but
that's okay. The famous Eleanor suffers
wear and tear in this version - no Hollywood
face lifts for that car.
is the real star of this film - the 1973 Mach
1 Ford Mustang with a Stock Ford 351 cubic
inch Windsor Four-barrel carburetor,
Cruisamatic transmission H-D-7 in wheels
Goodyear rally GT tries 24-volt electrical
system Fire extinguisher and first-aid kit
Electrical kill switches Individual locking
rear brakes Fish plating of the undercarriage
3" x 3/8" steel
Removable bullet plating..........and a good
body shop after the movie.
While of course
the eye candy of the Ferrari 550, Lamborghini
Diablos and high end SUV's were not around
during this time - the car chases and action
shots ooze realism - and darn no true car fan
has never wished to be able to drive like a
banshee at one time of their lives. The best
part - the128-foot jump, over 30 feet in the
air, with Eleanor surviving and
able to drive away but sources say Halicki
received a compressed spine upon impact.
Now if you are not
a true car nut I say this movie is better
spent surrounded by friends, imbibing some
spirits, munching on snacks and having a great
laugh - just like everyone was having in the
Polish Wedding scene! But if you are a car nut - think of
this movie as prozac.
OLDER brothers Cajo??? Hmmmm?