CinemaBlend got to sit down with Edgar Wright in Los Angeles to discuss Baby Driver and the 5 films that influenced the 20 year gestating film. It’s pretty much what you would guess. And that’s a good thing. Here’s a rundown with a synopsis of each film. Great priming before you go watch Baby Driver.
- 5 – Walter Hill’s The Driver:
An enigmatic man of fast cars and few words, the Driver (Ryan O’Neal) excels at maneuvering getaway vehicles through the tightest of spots, making him quite in demand in criminal circles. His skill and notoriety, however, infuriate the Detective (Bruce Dern), who becomes obsessed with taking the Driver down. Luckily for the speed-loving anti-hero, the Player (Isabelle Adjani), a gorgeous and resourceful woman, is around to help him elude the Detective.
- 4 – Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs:
A group of thieves assemble to pull of the perfect diamond heist. It turns into a bloody ambush when one of the men turns out to be a police informer. As the group begins to question each other’s guilt, the heightening tensions threaten to explode the situation before the police step in.
- 3 – Katheryn Bigelow’s Point Break:
Thrill-seeking criminals perform a series of daredevil stunts to steal money and gems, only to give it away to the poor and less fortunate. Training for a job with the FBI, young recruit Johnny Utah suspects that only extreme athletes could pull off these heists. Utilizing his own special skills, Utah infiltrates the gang of thieves after befriending their charismatic leader, Bodhi. As Johnny experiences the rush of their lifestyle, his superiors fear that his loyalties are being tested.
- 2 – Michael Mann’s Heat:
Master criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is trying to control the rogue actions of one of his men, while also planning one last big heist before retiring. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Hanna (Al Pacino) attempts to track down McCauley as he deals with the chaos in his own life, including the infidelity of his wife (Diane Venora) and the mental health of his stepdaughter (Natalie Portman). McCauley and Hanna discover a mutual respect, even as they try to thwart each other’s plans.
- 1 – Jon Landis’ The Blues Brothers:
After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) — collectively known as the “Blues Brothers.” Jake’s first task is to save the orphanage the brothers grew up in from closing, by raising $5,000 to pay back taxes. The two are convinced they can earn the money by getting their old band back together. However, after playing several gigs and making a few enemies, including the police, the brothers face daunting odds to deliver the money on time.
Sadly, there are no actual quotes from Edgar Wright on his 5 influences for Baby Driver, but I think they speak for themselves. If I was going to make a heist film, this would pretty much be the the list. With maybe, Johnny To’s The Mission, The Dark Knight and the underrated Welcome To Collinwood on there as well. Maybe with a dash of The French Connection.