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There are a great many factors which can make a movie truly great, ranging from an action-packed fight scene to a romantic embrace at the end as the sun goes down, but most people would agree that many of the iconic film moments that have remained in the memory have involved cars. The automobile and Hollywood grew up together, of course, so it’s perhaps not surprising that their histories are so firmly intertwined. Here are five movies that feature a memorable car-related scene.

Bullitt (1968)

Hollywood legend Steve McQueen was obsessed with fast cars, so when the chance to appear in a film that featured a breath-taking chase through the undulating streets of San Francisco came along he must have thought he was in paradise. The chase involved a Ford Mustang and a Dodge Charger, and it proved to be a white knuckle ride for audience members as well as for the drivers themselves.

Argo (2012)

The winner of the year’s Best Picture Oscar, Argo told the true story (although there were several historical inaccuracies thrown in) of a dramatic escape from the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979. Well-written and exceptionally well-acted, the final scenes involving a group of angry soldiers chasing a plane along the runway of Tehran’s airport left viewers on the edge of their seats.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

The amount of car-related thrills in James Bond movies could fill up a book, but if there’s one particularly memorable scene it has to be the moment when our intrepid hero managed to cross a broken bridge with a 360-degree barrel roll. The car, an AMC Hornet, was actually driven by legendary stunt driver ‘Bumps’ Willard. Interestingly, many critics thought the incredible stunt was undermined by the use of a slide whistle on the soundtrack.

Bad Boys II (2003)

Violent, uncompromising and intensely exciting, the car chase and subsequent shootout in Bad Boys II provides some of the best movie moments of the early part of this century. In this action-packed segment, which lasted more than nine minutes, it’s easy to lose count of just how many vehicles were apparently totalled, and towards the end there was even a boat in there as well.

Grease (1978)

For those of us who get a little dewy-eyed watching movies set in the 1950s, the cars are often the true stars. Grease was first and foremost a love story, of course, but it was also a genuine homage to this iconic decade. The car race that took place at Thunder Road towards the end of the movie was actually filmed on a concrete spillway of the Los Angeles River.

David Showell is a movie fan from the UK. He works for www.121carhire.com.