This is thirty-two years since a movie John Frankenheimer’s directed made the Best Movie Stunt. In 1966 he made the list with another feat of fantastic driving for James Garner in Grand Prix. For Ronin, the driving is just as good if not better, but is entirely staged different as some of the best chase scenes to be seen on film since The Blues Brothers.
More than 300 stunt drivers were employed to give the real-time chases scene an air of metal-crunching realism and 80 automobiles were destroyed during filming. One of the stunt drivers was former Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Jarier.
To make it look like Robert De Niro and Natascha McElhone were actually driving during the car chase, right hand drive cars were used, with the passenger side made up to mirror the real controls. The actors then mimicked the stunt drivers movements. Actor Skipp Sudduth requested to do his own stunt driving during the car chases and John Frankenheimer agreed. Frankenheimer told Sudduth “I don’t wanna see any brake lights.”
In a 2008 readers poll conducted by CAR magazine, 4 cars featured in this movie merited ranks in the magazine’s “Top 40 Coolest Movie Cars” issue: Audi S8 (9th), Citroën XM & Peugeot 605 (24th) and BMW 535i (29th). Other featured vehicles included, Peugeot 406, Citroën Xantia, Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9, and a rare modified Mercedes-Benz W116. Ronin was directed by John Frankenheimer for United Artists.
Things to look up (go to IMDB):
- John Frankenheimer
- Robert De Niro
- Natascha McElhone
- Jean-Pierre Jarier