We all know the effect that a good car chase can have on a Hollywood movie. Just think, the film Bullitt became famous essentially because of the epic chase scene. Well, a couple years after that was released, director John Hough gave us Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, and the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 440 easily stole the show.
The film featured actors like Peter Fonda (Larry Rayder), Susan George (Mary Coombs), Adam Roarke (Deke Sommers), and Vic Morrow (Everett Franklin). While there was somewhat of a plot at the beginning, it turned into pretty much just one big car chase film. Basically, it’s the perfect car movie for folks who love the chase scenes. Check out the clip below, and tell me it isn’t the best kind of action packed.
So, just as a quick plot rundown, Larry Rayder is a racer alongside his mechanic Deke Sommers, and they’re a bit down on their luck. With hopes of making it big in NASCAR, they decide to pull off a heist at the grocery store so that they can grab enough cash to buy a faster race car. As they make their escape, they get interrupted by Larry’s one night stand, Susan George, who convinces them she is going along for the ride.
While the sheriff, Everette Franklin, is watching them like a hawk, the rest of the movie is just filled with tons of getaway scenes showing a variety of hot rods getting pushed to the max. They originally start out the heist in a 1966 Chevrolet Impala getaway car, but after the car gets too hot, they trade the Chevy for the real star of the movie: A beautiful ’69 Dodge Charger. There’s no denying they showcased what a Mopar muscle car can do, because the sound of that Hemi engine when Larry puts his foot down should be music to anyone’s ears. They push through roadblocks and do whatever they can to escape the law.
I’d even say that this movie helped push the popularity of the Charger even further. There was much debate about the color of the car used in the film. People couldn’t decide if it was yellow or green. The Chrysler Corporation described it as “curious yellow,” but many others dubbed it as “Citron Yellow,” and you can see the similarity if you’ve ever seen Citron’s yellow color.
This movie is pretty epic, so if you haven’t checked it out, I’d highly recommend doing so on your next movie night. Sit down, get some snacks, and prepare yourself for a very long, very high-octane car chase with a classic muscle car.
This post was originally published on November 17, 2020.