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classics & dramas
creepy cars
romantic/buddy flicks
road trips gone wrong
something in-between
cool car chases
mad car races
songs to drive by
nostalgia trips

classics & dramas
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Wages of Fear (1953)—four men drive two rickety trucks loaded with nitroglycerine across 300 miles of mountains in director Henri-Georges Clouzot's classic suspense
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
The Straight Story (1999)—David Lynch plays it straight with Richard Farnsworth's dramatic tractor drive across the country
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov—love-struck pedophile takes nymphet on the road
Unsafe at Any Speed, by Ralph Nader

creepy cars
Duel (1971)—early Spielberg TV movie about a truck mysteriously chasing Dennis Weaver: lots of suspense and fear without special effects
Christine, by Stephen King
The Vanishing (1988)—while not exactly about cars, it is a couple's stop at a gas station that gets the drama started. And get the original Dutch film—it's far more atmospheric and frightening than the 1993 American remake.

romantic/buddy flicks
Thelma and Louise (1991)
The Sure Thing (1985)
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
Boys on the Side (1995)—better and more moving than you'd expect from the silly title
It Happened One Night (1934)

road trips gone wrong
"A Good Man Is Hard to Find," by Flannery O'Connor—what happens to a family vacation after one wrong turn
Badlands (1973)—Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen in a classic killing spree
Lost in America (1985)
The Sugarland Express (1974)—Goldie Hawn and William Atherton as fugitive couple attempting to regain custody of child
The Sweet Hereafter, by Russell Banks (made into a 1997 film by Atom Egoyan)—aftermath of school bus accident on small town

something in-between
Something Wild (1986)—Melanie Griffith takes Jeff Daniels on a ride
The Daytrippers (1996)—Liev Schreiber, Parker Posey, and Hope Davis search Manhattan in a station wagon for possibly errant husband Stanley Tucci
"No Place for You, My Love," by Eudora Welty—two strangers meet in New Orleans
Repo Man (1984)
Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976)—Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch, and Harvey Keitel drive a cheapskate ambulance

cool car chases
Bullitt (1968)—Steve McQueen does his own high-speed stunt driving through the streets of San Francisco
The French Connection (1971)—car chases subway
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)—James Dean plays chicken for Natalie Wood
Faster Pussy Cat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
Mad Max (1979)

mad car races
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
The Little Golden Calf, Ilya Ilf and Yevgeniy Petrov—a hilarious road race in the "Antelope-Gnu" grounds this satire about con men who claim to be the son of a dead Soviet hero
Heart Like a Wheel (1983)—Bonnie Bedelia as record-breaking drag racer Shirley Muldowney
Death Race 2000 (1975) with David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone—so bad it's almost (but not quite) good

Roger & Me (1989)—Michael Moore's depiction of the auto industry's impact on his hometown of Flint, Michigan
Taken for a Ride (1996)—award-winning documentary about how Los Angeles became the car-dependent place it is
Hands on a Hard Body (1998)—film about a Nissan pickup truck giveaway contest in Longview, Texas—whoever can stand with one hand on a truck the longest gets to drive the truck home

songs to drive by
"Born to be Wild," by Steppenwolf
"Little Red Corvette," by Prince
"Low Rider," by War
"This Highway's Mine," by Steve Earle
"Fast Car," by Tracy Chapman
"Little Old Lady from Pasadena," by Jan & Dean
"Ol' 55," by Tom Waits
"Baby, You Can Drive My Car," by the Beatles
"Be Thankful for What You've Got," by Tony Bryan
"Cars," by Gary Numan

nostalgia trips
Convoy (1978)—join Kris Kristoferson, Ali McGraw, and their CB radios in a truck convoy
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)—one of the top hits of the '70s
"The Rockford Files"—a trailer home, a private detective, and pile-ups in every episode
"The Dukes of Hazzard"
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)—Dick Van Dyke in a flying car
Red Asphalt—the classic, graphic drivers ed film

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