Jerry Daugirda

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Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) Review


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Before Nicolas Cage had to steal 50 cars, H.B. Halicki had to steal 48, in the cult film Gone in 60 Seconds. While Halicki may be billed first, the real star of the show is "Eleanor," Halicki's yellow 1973 Mustang, which just so happens to be one of the cars he's tasked with stealing by his megalomaniacal employers (along with limos, Caddies, classic cars, and more). The plot ostensibly revolves around the various cars that Halicki's Maindrian Pace(!) has to heist -- he's an insurance investigator moonlighting as a car thief -- but ultimately the film's true colors are revealed. Gone in 60 Seconds is eventually the story of a car chase: One of the most epic on film, an incredible 40-minute ride through five Southern California cities, involving some 90 cars being totalled. That's half the movie.

Realistically, that's all the movie. Halicki may know car chases, but he doesn't really know anything about dramatic filmmaking. (Well, did. He died during a stunt mishap in 1989.) This Gone in 60 Seconds is fundamentally as vapid as its infamous successor, though it has a low-budget scrappiness that makes it eeriely compelling from time to time. The ultimate car chase is fun and quite thrilling -- for the budget and the decade it's one of the best deals running.

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