Grand Theft Auto (1977)

PG   |    |  Action, Comedy, Crime

Grand Theft Auto (1977) Poster

A rich girl steals her dad's Rolls Royce and heads off to Las Vegas to get married. However, her angry parents, a jealous suitor, and a bunch of reward seekers are determined to stop her.


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18 April 2007 | Bunuel1976
| GRAND THEFT AUTO (Ron Howard, 1977) **1/2
I've never considered Howard much of a director - and I only rented this, his debut feature, because I've been on a 'grindhouse' kick ever since I watched the recent Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino homage! Made for Roger Corman's low-budget outfit (he explains how it all came about in the accompanying interview), this road movie on the lines of VANISHING POINT (1971) and THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS (1974) evolves into one uninterrupted chase along the American midwest. It's undeniably enjoyable on a non-think level, relying on an endless stream of energetic stunts (mostly gratuitous car crashes and explosions) to carry its thin plot as far as it can go. Howard also took the lead role and co-wrote the script with his father Rance; fellow cast members from Howard's popular HAPPY DAYS TV series also put in appearances…and there's even a cameo by director Paul Bartel! The technical crew holds some surprise: Allan Arkush (who later helmed the Corman-produced ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL [1979]) served as second-unit director, Gary Graver (best-known for his collaborations with Orson Welles) was the cinematographer, and Joe Dante (even after having started his own directorial career) edited the film!

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