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Walter Hill’s The Driver is returning to cinemas with a new 4K restoration

STUDIOCANAL has announced the release of a spectacular 4K restoration of Walter Hill’s 70s classic car chase movie THE DRIVER in cinemas from 11 November and available on Steelbook, UHD (with poster), Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 5 December.

A cool cult classic cited by directors including Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill), Edgar Wright (Baby Driver) and Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) as a major influence on their work, THE DRIVER was written and directed by Walter Hill (The Warriors) and first released in 1978.

The film stars Ryan O’Neal (Love Story), Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Isabelle Adjani (Possession).  O’Neal plays a getaway driver whose exceptional talent has prevented him being caught, Dern plays the relentless detective who sets out to trap him and Adjani plays the mysterious gambler who goes along for the thrill of the game.

The neo-noir action thriller takes place in the dark streets of a deserted downtown LA and features a number of breath-taking car chase sequences, celebrated as some of the greatest in movie history, including The Driver hot-wiring a Ford to make good an escape from a casino heist, before being pursued by a succession of police cars; a thrilling set piece where The Driver demonstrates his abilities during the infamous destruction of a Mercedes in an underground car park; and the end chase which is an exhilarating, superbly shot sequence from the freeway to an abandoned warehouse for a tense final showdown.

Walter Hill was part of the crew that filmed Bullitt ten years previously and his experience shows in the authentically-fast chase scenes in THE DRIVER.  Marking Hill’s second feature after Hard Times starring Charles Bronson, he wrote the script for THE DRIVER in a minimalist style, creating a moody and riveting film.

Hill says of the story “It is a tale of confrontation between two mean of iron will.  The characters play as three classical elements: the sympathetic criminal, the obsessed representative of the law, and the phantom lady that appears and also acts as a chorus to the piece.  Each is the best at what they do; each is committed to a life-style that thrives on competition.  It is a study of games and games-players.”

STUDIOCANAL owns one of the largest film libraries in the world, boasting nearly 7000 titles from 60 countries. Spanning 100 years of film history. 20 million euros has been invested into the restoration of 700 classic films over the past 5 years.

The 35mm Original Color Negative of THE DRIVER was scanned at 4K resolution at Colorworks, who completed the 4K restoration including theatrical grade under Walter Hill’s supervision.  Studiocanal worked on the UHD mastering, partnering with Roundabout LA to produce a brand new UHD HDR and SDR master.

Special Features:

  • New Masterclass: Walter Hill – An exclusive masterclass with writer-director Walter Hill recorded at Reims Festival 2022
  • New Interview with Walter Hill
  • Alternate opening sequence
  • Trailer
  • Teasers

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