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Podcast 155: Stunt Driver Picks Best Car Movies

Steve Lepper talks about car chases and stunts from Buster Keaton to “Mad Max”

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James Garner stars as a race car driver in the 1966 film "Grand Prix," which stunt driver Steve Lepper picks as one of his all time favorite car movies.

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Stunt driver Steve Lepper picks his favorite car movies as well as the best car chases ever put on film.

Aired: November 27, 2018 | Transcript

Movies love cars, whether it's the speed around a track, a chase, or just a teenage boy's love for a hot rod. Stunt driver Steve Lepper picks his favorite car movies as well as the best car chases ever put on film.

Here in San Diego, we just had the original Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen 50 years ago in "Bullitt" stop by the Air and Space Museum. So that got me thinking about the best car chases on film and that led me to ask my friend Steve Lepper, who happens to be a stunt driver and gearhead, about his favorite car chases.

But Lepper pointed out that there are also some great car movies such as "Grand Prix" and "Le Mans" where there are no chases and films such as "The Great Race" and "Christine" where cars are more like characters. So for this podcast we focus on everything from Buster Keaton's silent movie stunts to the realism of "Grand Prix" to the audacious speed of the "Mad Max" movies.

He also provides some behind the scenes trivia about what stunt drivers do besides dazzling us with intense chases and what tricks filmmakers have done to pull us into a scene.

We also discuss actors who loved racing like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.

Here is the video story on the "Bullitt" car.

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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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