The Driver is a 1978 crime thriller film written and directed by Walter Hill, starring Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, and Isabelle Adjani. Based upon similarities in plot elements, it is heavily influenced by Jean-Pierre Melville's film Le Samouraï. The film is also notable for its impressive car chases, its no-frills style of filmmaking, and its rarely speaking, unnamed titular character.
Comte Bruno d'Harcourt was born in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland, the son of Comte Eugène d'Harcourt (1859–1918), French composer and conductor, and Armande de Pierre de Bernis. On 15 September 1923 he married Isabelle Françoise Helene Marie d'Orléans, Princesse de France, daughter of Jean d'Orléans, Duc de Guise and Isabelle d'Orléans. The couple had four children:
The Driver (Ryan O'Neal) - real name unknown - has made a career out of stealing cars to use as getaway vehicles in big-time robberies all over Los Angeles. Hot on the Driver's trail is the Detective (Bruce Dern), a conceited and otherwise-nameless cop who has his own name for the Driver: "Cowboy." Since the Driver has never been caught, the Detective goes to ever-increasing lengths to bring him down.
Ultimately, the Detective sets up a bank job in order to bait and trap the Driver. Even when said plan threatens to wreck the Detective's own career, he remains steadfast in his obsession to bust the Driver.
In the late 1970s, Britain's EMI Films came under the stewardship of Michael Deeley and Barry Spikings. They began co-financing movies shot in Hollywood in association with major US studios that were aimed at the international market, such as Convoy, The Deer Hunter and The Driver.
The Cars films were directed by John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and DisneyToon Studios. Lasseter executive produced the Planes films. Together, the two Cars films have accrued over $1 billion in box office revenue worldwide.
The role of the driver was originally intended for Steve McQueen. Walter Hill says he sent a copy of the original draft of the script to Raoul Walsh for his approval and that the veteran director liked it.
Jamie is the son of Richard & Annie Campbell-Walter. Richard Campbell-Walter is the brother of famous 50/60's model Fiona Campbell-Walter. Fiona was the model daughter of Scottish Rear Admiral Keith McNeil Campbell-Walter.
It was the first Hollywood role for Isabelle Adjani, who had previously turned down the chance to star in The Other Side of Midnight. She agreed to make The Driver because she was an admirer of Walter Hill's first film Hard Times. Adjani:
The name could also be confused with Wangan Midnight, a Japanese manga series which has been adapted into several arcade games (see Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune). Wangan Midnight is often written as "湾岸 Midnight".
Hill says the major visual influence on the movie was the works of artist Edward Hopper.