5 Films That Influenced Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’

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.

 

  • *blank stare*

    I believe that’s not far away.

  • Kyle Hale

    I’m sure the overwhelming praise hurt my experience as I believed every bit of it. Huge Edgar Wright fan. But this one was a dud for me. There was no heart to it. I didn’t believe for one second that Baby and Debora were in love, they just acted like they wanted to bang the whole time. Pure sexual tension, but no romance. We saw maybe two dates where they were all ga-ga but it felt…forced.

    I don’t want to get into any actual spoilers. Hopefully someone makes a spoiler article where we can discuss the actual movie freely.

  • *blank stare*

    Cool to see someone on the other side of the aisle on this.
    This might be backwards, but I’m always a bit suspicious when there’s nothing but glowing praise for a movie.
    It tends to make me want to wait for the hype to die down.

  • Kyle Hale

    I’m just gonna say it: I couldn’t stand this movie. Characters were poorly written, love story was garbage, and the shtick wore thin REALLY fucking fast. And goddamn Kevin Spacey’s character was one of the dumbest characters ever put to page. It get like sometimes the characters were written by someone else for some scenes, and the tonal shifts were jarring and distracting.

    6/10 for me.

  • sailor monsoon

    It’s mostly the opening and the silent protagonist

  • Indianamcclain

    So far it’s the best movie of the summer for me.

  • I love Drive. I just hope I don’t lose respect for it if it borrows too much from The Driver.

    EDIT: I’ll be seeing Baby Driver ASAP.

  • sailor monsoon

    You should check out both.
    Or all three if you’ve never seen drive.
    Baby driver may be inspired by the driver but it’s inspiration never bleeds into homage.
    Drive’s does but it’s still it’s own movie

  • Did you like it?

  • (HYPE INTENSIFIES)

  • That’s what I was worried about… Although “worried” might be the wrong wording, as that description almost makes me more excited to check out Walter Hill’s film.

  • sailor monsoon

    Heat is one of the best films of the 90’s.
    Full stop

  • Kemosabe

    Why not Heat? It’s a great crime movie.

  • Kemosabe

    Baby Driver is fantastic. Everyone go watch it.

  • sailor monsoon

    The Canon podcast just had him on and he talked about the driver for an hour and a half.
    It was his biggest inspiration for baby driver.
    And drive is the driver but with a better soundtrack.
    It even steals it’s opening chase.

  • Indianamcclain

    I could definitely feel the influence of early Tarantino on this film.

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    Lol same.

  • Birth Movies Death had great little interviews with Wright over these movies. I’m really looking forward to Baby Driver, and need to get my hands on The Driver. I wonder how similar it is to Drive.

  • *blank stare*

    There’s some pretty hardcore references in this film.
    Heat, really?

    I guess that’s the mark of an interesting director, who internalizes stuff just a little differently than everyone else.

  • Every time I see that header image of him in that jacket I think “there’s the kid that should be playing young Han Solo.