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10 greatest movie car chases

Get the story behind 10 of the most thrilling car chases in movie history and watch video clips.

Fancy yourself a James Bond behind the wheel?

Check out these top 10 greatest movie car chases of all time and find out where they were filmed (but please stick to the speed limit!):

1. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) New South Wales, Australia

Set for a comeback in 2015 with another Mad Max blockbuster, this 1980s classic features a fresh-faced Mel Gibson and was filmed around Broken Hill in the Australian Outback in New South Wales. Get a feel for what post-apocalyptic Australia might be like and take a drive out on the Darling River Run, a four-wheel adventure along Australia’s longest river.

2. Bullitt (1968) San Francisco, USA

This crime action film stars none other than speed stunt legend, Steve McQueen as a police detective charged with protecting a mafia informant – not the most low-profile job and one which unsurprisingly involves a number of car chases through the streets of San Francisco, California. Head to ‘the City by the Bay’ and cruise out on the Golden Gate Bridge for great views across the city and Marin Headlands.

3. The French Connection (1971) Brooklyn, NYC, USA

Gene Hackman takes the lead in this classic thriller, based on the true story of New York detectives Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle and Buddy ‘Cloudy’ Russo. The car chase scenes filmed in Brooklyn, NYC, are some of the most famous in movie history, as Popeye floors his Pontiac in pursuit of a hit-man escaping on an elevated train. Get similar (but a lot safer) thrills on Coney Island, New York’s historical amusement park, home to the famous Cyclone rollercoaster built in the 1920s.

4. Vanishing Point (1971) Nevada, USA

Ex-cop and Vietnam veteran, Kowalski, played by Barry Newman, attempts to deliver an iconic white Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours – not exactly a Sunday drive in the Sedan. Colorado and Utah both make it on camera, but scenes filmed in the Nevada desert are most iconic. Here Kowalski, attempting to escape the police, meets snake catcher Dean Jagger. Track down Dean yourself in the Great Basin, the largest desert in the US, which stretches across most of Nevada’s territory.

5. The Italian Job (1969) Turin, Italy

This British classic, in which Michael Caine plays Cockney gangster Charlie Croker, and stars a pretty zippy trio of red, white and blue Mini Coopers, was filmed mainly in the northern Italian city of Turin. Hunted down by the Italian police, Caine’s charming crooks famously race through Turin’s Exhibition Building, designed by architect Pier Luigi Nervi. Visit the big screen sites and stroll along grand boulevards and sip espresso in leafy piazzas. Need some wheels to get around on? Check out Skyscanner’s car hire search – just don’t blow the bloody doors off!

6. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) Moscow, Russia

The second in the Bourne film series, this one again features Matt Damon as former CIA assassin Jason Bourne who seems to find himself involved in some adrenaline-pumping car chases, like the one in Moscow that ensues between Bourne and a Russian foe. You needn’t be in such a rush on your visit to the Russian capital. Take time to soak in the rich history the city has to offer and tour some its iconic landmarks, such as Red Square and the Kremlin.

Read more: Top 10 things to see and do in Moscow

7. Motorway (2012) Hong Kong, China

High-speed in Hong Kong is pretty much the norm, a city constantly on the move, with over seven million residents. But action film Motorway takes it to another level with 90 minutes of high-octane drama from the city’s supposed ‘Stealth Riders’ division, targeting criminals involved in underground drag racing. A Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, head to Hong Kong to see the dazzling night skyline and experience thrills of your own at the Disneyland Resort on Lantau Island.

8. Violent City (1975) Rome, Italy

Also released as Forced Impact and Violent Rome, this Italian car chase classic was filmed in and around Rome and is rumoured to be one of Quentin Tarantino’s favourites – so expect plenty of heart-racing action. When in Rome do visit the Piazza Mincio, one of the city’s hidden squares with quirky architectural features and a cute fountain; do not hire an Alfa Romeo and go speeding through the city!

Read more: 10 best things to do in Rome: a local’s guide

9. For Your Eyes Only (1981) Corfu, Greece

Nobody loves a good car chase more than James Bond, and in 1981 Roger Moore got into some hair-raising high-speed chases in For Your Eyes Only. Pagi Village on the Greek island of Corfu was the location chosen for the film’s Citroen 2CV car chase, an otherwise peaceful picturesque town nestled in the shade of a wooded valley. Check out the Old Fortress in Corfu Town, also the place where 007 kicks a Mercedes off a cliff, now home to the Public Library of Corfu.

10. Ronin (1998) Paris, France

Three Cold War intelligence agents walk in to a bar in Paris, where they meet a member of the IRA; with opening scenes like this, Ronin is jam-packed with action and reckless driving from the start. The car chases in this 1998 thriller are often proclaimed the best in cinema history. Tour the streets of Paris for yourself and take in some of the movie locations, like the Rue Drevet near the Sacré-Cœur Cathedral, or Pont Alexandre III, an incredible ornate 19th century bridge.

We don’t recommend that you recreate these famous stunts but if you do fancy travelling to any of these big screen holiday spots and need a set of wheels then use Skyscanner’s car hire search to find the best deal.