Before we leave Sunday night’s Academy Awards completely behind for another year, General Motors wants us to remember the roles that made stars out of cars.
“The high-profile association with a blockbuster and classic movies gives Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac wonderful exposure to those not familiar with the brand,” said Steve Tihanyi, GM’s general director for branded entertainment and marketing alliances. “We are always looking for unique ways to humanize and expose our vehicles to new consumers and there will always be a certain ‘cool’ factor in starring on the big screen.”
Sure, you saw the Chevrolet Camaro in the starring role as Bumblebee in three Transformers movies, but don’t forget these other star turns for other GM vehicles through the years.
American Graffiti (1973) – In the coming-of-age movie that helped launch the Hollywood careers of Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford, a 1955 Chevrolet One-Fifty and 1958 Chevrolet Impala were an ode to the car culture of the 1960s.
Smokey & the Bandit (1977) – The “Bandit,” played by Burt Reynolds, is a maverick racecar driver behind the wheel of a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. The movie led to two sequels and for Pontiac’s 50th anniversary, 15,567 special Black and Gold edition Trans Ams were created. This movie also led to the purchase of my very first brand new car in 1979.
Ghostbusters (1984) – In the 1984 comedy, a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance is introduced to audiences worldwide as, “a hunk of junk.” Saved by Ray Stantz, played by Dan Aykroyd, the car is converted into the ultimate ghostbusting machine – the Ectomobile.
Rain Man (1988) – After inheriting a 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible from his father, Tom Cruise’s character, Charlie Babbitt, and his brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman, spend the majority of Rain Man behind the wheel of the classic Buick that helps bring the two together.
Demolition Man (1993) – Many of the cars in the 1993 action, sci-fi movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock were GM concept and prototypes vehicles, including a 1991 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept, 1992 GM Ultralite and GM Lean Machine. The 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 that was used in the movie is currently on display at the GM Heritage Center.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003) – In the sequel to the 1999 blockbuster, the Cadillac CTS gets into the action serving as the vehicle of Trinity, Neo and Morpheus. The GM Heritage Collection houses the actual vehicle used during filming, complete with bullet holes.