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Show Cars Chase
Gone in 60 Seconds (1/4)
Cars: Ford Mustang Mach 1
Duration: 08:17 min
Plot Summary Insurance investigator Maindrian Pace (played by H.B 'Toby' Halicki) and his team lead double lives as car thieves. Everyone knows him as an intelligent, respectable insurance investigator, they also know that he runs a quality auto shop in town. What very few know is that he is the leader of a group of professional car thieves. If a car disappears, it's most likely Pace's gang that's done it. In order to protect themselves in the event the police overhear them, Pace declares that they will only refer to cars by code names, not by the actual make and model of the car. Today is Tuesday and a very valued client has just contacted Pace with an exceptional order. A South American drug lord pays Pace $400,000.00 to steal 48 specific cars for him, and all but one - a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, whose code name is "Eleanor" - are successfully stolen by Maindrian and his associates. The buyer wants Pace to deliver the cars to him by Saturday. All are very high-end cars ranging from Mustangs to limousines, making the order difficult to fill under the time limit. Still, Pace savors the challenge and agrees to complete the order. Pace also has Eugene's wedding to go to in Dunkirk, New Yorkwhere he asks Eugene to call off his honeymoon for some court cases next week. After arriving back at Los Angeles International Airport Pace and his crew spot Eleanor at the airport and Corlis (Ronald Halicki) tries to steal her but fails because the driver is still in the car asleep at the wheel. Then they leave the airport. Later that night his crew is somewhat taken aback by the audacity of the plan, but they realize that if anyone can do it, Pace can. Mapping out a basic strategy, the gang begins to scout out their targets, which have all been given female names. Being part of the insurance industry, Pace does have one small idiosyncrasy when it comes to stealing, all of the cars he steals must be insured. Pace refuses to take a car from a person who hasn't insured it because of his secretary Pumpkin (Marion Busia) got him to agree to it during a walk in a park in Dunkirk. Later that night Pace goes to Ascot Park and steals J.C. Agajanian's 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. Also later that night Pace goes and steals Harold Blight Smith's (Edward Abrahms) Eleanor right out of his garage at his home. After Mrs. Smith's constant nagging, Mr. Smith takes his dog out to the front yard where he discovers his Mustang backing out of his garage. Mr. Smith then jumps in his blue 1972 Plymouth Satellite and chases Pace for several miles screaming "that's my car", causing the police to pull him over in order to find out why he is driving maniacally around town. Because Smith has cheated a number of people on insurance claims, Pace returns Smith's undamaged automobile in the exact position it was in the garage, so that when Smith and the police officers return, Smith is in trouble because (as far as they can see) nothing has happened. Pace manages to steal all seven Limousines and The Pantera and finally Eleanor. Then Atlee steals the 1974 Cadillac Coupe De Ville right in front of the Hungry Tiger Restaurant. Then Pace steals the 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and the 1971 Chevrolet Corvette. And so they begin stealing the 48 cars. As it happens, it's proceeding extremely smoothly, the thieves have found all the cars they need with little hardship, and no complications have arisen. That is, until they come to Eleanor, a prized '73 Mach 1 Ford Mustang. They've found their Eleanor, stolen it, but then discover that it's not insured. The owner has placed an ad in the paper pleading for the car's return, no questions asked. Because of giving his word to Pumpkin, Pace decides, much to the chagrin of his buddies to return it. Pace prepares to steal another 'Eleanor' Mustang in Long Beach that he had spotted earlier and made a point to remember its location, but is unaware that his boss (Jerry Daugirda) has alerted to the police to the potential theft as a result of a dispute involving a stolen Cadillac that was discovered to have million dollars worth of heroin hidden throughout it. His boss wanted to keep the drugs but Pace decides to park it in a dirt lot and burn it, telling his boss he would care of it. As a result of the tip-off, two detectives (Butch Stockton and Phil Woods) are waiting for Pace as he steals Eleanor. They do not suspect him at first but decide to check him out. Pace spots them as he has stopped in the driveway to disable the car alarm and decides to run when they show the police light. The ensuing pursuit is the longest car chase (40 minutes) in movie history and takes Pace through five cities as he attempts to lose police. Every section of this sequence was filmed on live city streets or freeways, often containing real pedestrians running from Pace's car. In a notable scene, Eleanor is clipped by a Cadillac as a result of misjudging the freeway exit, spins out and collides with a lamp post. This scene was, in fact, a real accident, as Halicki misjudged both the lane and speed of a car Cadillac. Halicki was injured in the crash, but the scene was left in, and Eleanor is seen driving away from the accident and as chase continues. The jump scene at the end of the chase is also notable and set the standards for a number of subsequently produced pictures. Acting as the climax to the lengthy chase sequence, Eleanor is seen jumping over the scene of a traffic accident unrelated to the chase, after a hood leaning on a car, allows him to catch air. The jump manages to achieve a height of 30' over a 128' in distance - a feat which would not be easily replicable without the use of modern CGI techniques - and the Mustang barely manages to land safely as it meets the ground in a rather awkward fashion, injuring Halicki once again. Some close friends have said he never walked the same after the jump. Shortly after this jump, the chase, which occupied 40 minutes of screen time, is ended when Pace spots another yellow Mustang pulling into a car wash. He asks for his car to be washed and then dupes the owner of the other Mustang into believing that her car must be washed again and instructs her to report to the managers office. Pace subsequently leaves the car wash with the stolen car as the manager (who matches the description of Pace, who was wearing a grey wig and a grey jacket during the chase) is believed to be the suspect and arrested. Pace removes his disguise, asks a police officer at a road block directions, and gets away scot-free.
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