Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) H.B. Halicki, Marion Busia, Jerry Daugirda, James McIntyre Movie Review

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

The Good, the Bad and the Car Chase Scene

Maindrian Pace (H.B. Halicki) is an insurance investigator, but one with a double life as when he isn't doing his job he, along with his team, are stealing high end cars. When Pace is offered a 48 car boost including a 1973 Ford Mustang he names "Eleanor" he can't say no. But as he and his team are boosting all these cars some thing goes wrong and as Pace sets about stealing Eleanor he finds himself with the cops in waiting, ready for a high speed chase.

Firstly I need to say that this 1974 version of "Gone in 60 Seconds" did not, for the most, entertain me. Now let me tell you what I think happened. Stunt driver H.B. Halicki had two ideas, one was a story about insurance investigators who lead a double life as car thieves and the second idea was the most spectacular police car chase scene that anyone would have ever seen at the time. But to do this I reckon the majority of the budget he had for the movie was spent on the car chase scene which I reckon may have been shot first and the rest of the movie ended up an after thought.

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

Of course everything I have just said is pure speculation but it is my only explanation for how "Gone in 60 Seconds" turned out. I say that because for a good hour we get this storyline of Pace and his gang stealing cars. It is incredibly slim, poorly acted as well as poorly edited with mumbled dialogue and no character depth making it hard to get into. The saving grace during this initial hour are a few car exploits from one of the team finding a pet in a car he is trying to boost through to a close shave with a stolen car filled with drugs, a scene which was re-used in the remake. But all this is pretty tedious and I know that I struggled to keep watching during all this.

But then as I said you have the car chase scene, the big action finale which whilst I didn't time it I wouldn't be surprised if it lasted an entire half an hour. And yes this is a ridiculously over the top car chase scene where not only does every police car in a city seem to be involved but the cops never seem to create proper road blocks. In truth it is because the first hour of "Gone in 60 Seconds" is so dull that this car chase scene ends up memorably entertaining and pretty much salvages what could have been I presume an expensive folly. But it is a ridiculous car chase, one which does make you smile because of it being ridiculous including how it ends.

What this all boils down to is that "Gone in 60 Seconds", this 1974 version, is not a good movie and in fact has a first hour which is incredibly dull to watch. But it then delivers one of the most memorable movie car chases scenes you will ever watch and it is very much this half hour of car carnage which makes it entertaining.