Movies / Home Theatre

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) Blu-Ray


By Hervé St-Louis
June 23, 2020 - 00:34

Eleonor, the beautiful yellow 1973 Fastback Mustang has been stolen by thief-by-night and insurance claim investigator-by-day Maindrian (Halicki) Pace in a crazy scheme with South American drug lords to steel 48 cars that will be sent away. When the local Los Angeles police notices the way, Pace steps into Eleonor, a crazy 40-minute long car chases ensue, creating a classic film where the crook attempts to escape the cops. Will Eleonor make it alive at the end of the film?

First, do not worry. Eleonor is still around, albeit in a very bad shape and driven and shown off by Halicki’s wife frequently in car shows and tracks. This low budget movie was written, produced and directed by Halicki as an independent film in 1974 in an attempt to create the ultimate car chase movie in history. It still has the distinguished title of having the most car crash, and the longest car chase in a film. 93 cars were destroyed during the 40-minutes car chase out of a total of 127 wrecked cars.

Some reviewers criticize this film because of its thin plot and poor sound editing. If you watch this film for its wacky plot, you need to get a life. It is the car chases and the action that matter in this film. Unlike morality telltale Corky (1972) or Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), there are no philosophical musings in this film. Unlike Bullitt (1969), or Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974), there are no thriller or complex caper to be resolved.

The real problem with this release is the sound editing which has been hampered by the lack of agreements between composer Philip Kachaturian and Halicki’s estate about the use of the original soundtrack aptly called Gone in 60 Seconds in home media releases since 1999. Kachaturian’s original country-styled soundtrack with many songs such as 'Lois Lane Blues', 'Boob Tube', and many more languish in obscurity while they were composed for this film which is becoming a cult-classic, though still relatively obscure as well.

The remastered version of Gone in 60 Seconds has clear and crisp images but a new generic soundtrack and overtly dubbed sections burying the original soundtrack and voice acting. Of course, the original voice acting was also poor but what should be a corny but enjoyable musical ride is hammered with sound that destroy the quality of the original film. I listened to the original sound of Eleonor starting up and gaining speed after a major jump stunt and compared it with the new soundtrack. It was not the same. You cannot hear nor feel the pace of the horsepower picking up making your heart pounce in anticipation of the car speeding away from a crash site. The fans, as usual, lose out when money disputes get in the way. Such are the vagaries of independent film. It is up today but gone tomorrow.

Rating: 6.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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