Game shows came of age toward the end of the Great Depression, and for good reason. People were so hard up for money that the lure of cash and prizes drew in audiences like nothing else. In some ways, the game show can be seen as the precursor to the reality show, taking ordinary folks and immersing them in a world of possibility. But like most forms of entertainment, game shows have their bizarre and sordid side.

10 The Intercept

car chase

Grand Theft Auto is one of the most popular video game franchises in the world, but one can immediately see serious logistical problems in adapting it to a game show setting. Leave it to the Russians to put this concept on wheels. The Intercept was a game show in which contestants were instructed to steal a car.

Once they were on the road, they had to evade the show’s police force for 35 minutes. If they could escape, they were given the car as a prize. Of course, winning was nearly impossible—the cars were outfitted with tracking devices, making staying ahead of the police a true miracle.

9 Man vs. Beast


In 2003, Fox aired Man vs. Beast, a show that consisted of people competing (and largely losing) against animals in different events, including an eating contest between former Nathan’s Hot Dog champion Takeru Kobayashi and a half-ton Kodiak bear. The most distasteful competition occurred between 44 dwarfs and an Asian elephant in an airplane-pulling race.

The only event clearly dominated by man was an obstacle course race between a US Navy SEAL and a chimpanzee. The SEAL, Scott Helvenston, wouldn’t have long to celebrate his victory though. The following year, he started as a contractor for the private security firm Blackwater and became the victim of one of the most savage acts of violence in the Iraq War. His team was ambushed by insurgents, torched, butchered, and dragged through the streets.

8 The Price Is Right


Each episode of The Price Is Right concludes with two finalists guessing the price of a showcase, an assembly of big-ticket items like cars, furniture, and vacations. The contestant who guesses close enough to the actual price (without going over) wins.

For the most part, it’s an inexact science. But on September 22, 2008, contestant Terry Kneiss blew everyone away when he buzzed in with the exact amount of his showcase ($23,743), which consisted of a billiards table, a karaoke machine, and a 17-foot camper. Carey’s reaction was noticeably deadpan, as he feared yet another game show scandal might have been in the works.

However, Kneiss hadn’t cheated; a longtime viewer of the show, he merely noticed that many of the items were repeatedly featured. He memorized the prices of many items, and fortunately, those appeared in his showcase. And the $743? That was a fluke. Kneiss randomly used his PIN number.

7 Jeopardy!


Quiz show Jeopardy! is perhaps best known for the 2004 reign of Ken Jennings, a Mormon genius featured on 75 episodes of the show, until losing on the Final Jeopardy answer “Most of this firm’s 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.” Jennings responded “What is Fed-Ex?” but the correct question was “What is H&R Block?”

In response to the kind of advertising that money couldn’t buy, H&R Block granted Jennings free tax preparations and financial advice for life. He would go on to appear in several more Jeopardy! tournaments, including one against IBM “artificial intelligence” supercomputer Watson (who beat him soundly).

However, winning Jeopardy! is only a matter of having the most money of three contestants. While Jennings often triumphed by tens of thousands of dollars, in 1993, Air Force lieutenant colonel Darryl Scott won a game with a score of $1. In case you’re wondering, the maximum amount one can win in a single game, provided you answer every question correctly, land on the Daily Double questions last in each round, and bet the maximum amount in Final Jeopardy is $566,400.

6 Wheel Of Fortune


Wheel of Fortune, which generally airs right before Jeopardy!, tends to aim at a less academic audience, with contestant auditions that rely less on intelligence than personality. Amiable host Pat Sajak runs the show while statuesque cougar (she’s 56!) Vanna White manipulates the electronic letter board.

Today, players can win hundreds of thousands of dollars, cars, and exotic vacations, but back in the 1980s, the show was “boring” according to Sajak. Instead of competing to win cash, players won symbolic funds which could be used to buy lame prizes like appliances. In 2012, Sajak admitted that the format took so long to film that he and Vanna used to sneak off for margarita-fueled dinners at a nearby restaurant. He claimed he and Vanna would have “two or three or six” margaritas before returning to the set, where they would “have trouble recognizing the alphabet”.

5 Family Feud

family fued

Family Feud premiered in 1976 and was hosted by Richard Dawson, a charming Englishman known for kissing the female contestants. Dawson was succeeded by Ray Combs, a somewhat-forgettable figure who hosted the show for six years. He was infamous for walking off the set after the final episode without even saying goodbye to anyone. In 1994, he was in a car accident that left him with permanent, painful spinal damage.

His career stalled, he suffered financial setbacks (including the foreclosure of his home), and he and his wife filed for divorce. Combs became psychotic, spending time in the hospital after a suicide attempt. Upon his release, he proceeded to destroy the inside of his home and smash his head into the walls. Police were summoned and took him to the Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale, California to be evaluated. The next day, he hanged himself in the closet of his hospital room with his bedsheets. He was just 40 years old.

4 Press Your Luck


Press Your Luck was a mid-1980s game show that was part quiz show and part “dumb luck.” Contestants played against an illuminated game board that lit up prizes in different patterns, and they could stop it at any time to win the cash or prizes it landed on.

If they stopped the board on a “Whammy” (a caricature of a villain), they would lose everything. It all seemed entirely random until 1984—when unemployed ice cream truck driver Michael Larson appeared on the show and begun to run the board, playing 45 rounds in a row before striking out. His turn went on so long that it had to be incorporated into two episodes of the show.

Larson won an improbable fortune of $110,237. An investigation by CBS found that he had been using the stop-motion function on his VCR to painstakingly review episodes of the show. He realized that the random illumination of the game board actually worked in a predictable sequence. They determined this was not cheating and gave Michael Larson the prize money, but they made sure to reprogram the game board so that no one could duplicate the stunt.

3 Amaan Ramazan


Amaan Ramazan is a Pakistani game show where guests are presented with prizes like laptops, smartphones, and land deeds for correctly answering questions about Islam.

Hosted by the lively Aamir Liaquat Hussain, one of the most famous television personalities in the country, the show has been criticized by opponents for doing wild stunts in the name of ratings. But during the 2013 holy month of Ramadan (which ran from July 9 to August 7), a time when shows in the Islamic world fight for ratings, Hussain unveiled his most audacious stunt yet: He gave away orphaned babies.

Although it appeared on the show that the babies were given away as prizes, the families were approved and fully vetted beforehand. Although this may seem like a controversial move, Amaan Ramazan may have actually saved these children’s lives. Babies are abandoned in Pakistan frequently, especially girls, who are seen by many as less desirable.

2 Cash Cab

cash cab

Cash Cab is a quiz show in which a cab driver lobs increasingly difficult trivia questions at taxi passengers while driving them to their destination. It has a three-strikes rule that dumps you on the sidewalk if you rack up three wrong answers during your ride.

The Canadian version of the show endured an ugly scandal in 2011, when the Cash Cab struck and killed a 61-year-old pedestrian in Vancouver, British Columbia. Fortunately for the fate of the show, the accident did not occur during filming, but later in the day when one of the show’s producers was bringing the cab back to a garage for the night.

There have been more than two dozen international versions of the program throughout the world. The American version went off the air in 2012.

1 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?


Who Wants To Be a Millionaire is notable for its “lifelines,” which contestants can use to seek help with a particularly tricky question. Although the lifelines have evolved somewhat throughout the run of the series, two of the common choices were “phone-a-friend” and “ask the audience.” Objectively, the best “phone-a-friend” moment occurred on November 19, 1999, when John Carpenter called his father while answering the million-dollar question. Carpenter didn’t need help—he just wanted to tell his dad he was going to win. And he did, becoming the first million-dollar winner in the US version of the show.

In “ask the audience,” the audience is prompted to provide their answer to the question, usually leaving the contestant with a clear majority choice. In the American version of the show, this is typically the correct answer. However, audiences in international renditions of the show can be quite fickle, instead choosing to troll the contestant and provide the wrong answer intentionally. This has been observed in the French version, and especially in the Russian version.

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It is no spoiler to say that, in this weekend’s Man of Steel, chaos and mass destruction are leading players, just as deserving of a spot on the marquee as Henry Cavill and Amy Adams. As the marketing material makes clear, the survivors of Krypton have little regard for our planet’s puny architecture, which they reduce to neat piles of shattered glass and twisted metal, like wood chips for their superhuman playground of death.

Quick, run to your nearest theater!

This is nothing new, of course; we’ve come to expect mass destruction in our summer movies, which allow us to envision from an air conditioned place of comfort the global meltdown we’ve been trained to expect by years of alarmist political rhetoric. It’s like a game of chicken; if one movie destroys half a city, the next one must one-up it and wreck the entire thing. With a huge number of gigantic blockbuster films out this summer, it’s worth examining just how much carnage we’re paying big money to see, and taking stock of all the urban zones that are being leveled on the big screen. Is your hometown being blown apart this year?!

3. Man of Steel: Metropolis

After Supes and Zod tear apart the main drag of Smallville — which is dotted with many businesses, all nameless aside for the 7-Eleven, Sears and IHOP — they take the action to the glimmering skyscrapers of Metropolis, which they promptly turn into gigantic piles of rubble.

4. Star Trek Into Darkness: San Francisco, London

First, CumberKHAN lays waste to the seat of the former British Empire, and later on, he helps demolish NoCal, too.

5. Iron Man 3: Los Angeles

Bad news for Tony Stark: your home and all your possessions are now waste at the bottom of a cliff. Good news: at least it took a bunch of missiles to get that done, so you really had a nice spread there for a while. The Chinese Theater in LA also got blown to pieces, which is pretty cool because the company that owns it paid for that to happen.

6. World War Z: Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston, Rome, Newark, St. Louis, Houston, Jerusalem

Hordes of Brangelina-hating zombies flood the streets of the world’s major cities like the running of the brain-thirsty bulls. Even Israel, which was supposed to be all smart about preparing for such an invasion, gets roughed up. Maybe all those re-shoots were about upping the disaster factor?

7. This Is The End: Los Angeles

The whole world is experiencing the fiery wrath of the lord’s final judgment, but we only get to see the hell-bound sinkholes and flaming rain of Los Angeles. Of course, this is a comedy, so it’s all in good fun, but still, even our laughs are coming amid complete and utter disaster!

8. Pacific Rim: San Francisco, Manila, Dubai

A highly anticipated, mega-budget Transformers-versus-Godzilla epic from Guillermo Del Toro, this looks to be what we call smart sci-fi, a display of cataclysmic damage that really means something. The trailer itself name checks San Fran, Manila and Dubai as being crushed by these giant alien monsters, but it’s hard to believe that they’re going to limit their damage to those three cities.

9. Elysium: Basically Everywhere

Set in the year 2159, Earth is largely a wrecked, smoking graveyard for poor people, while the rich live in a giant spinning rim in space.

10. The World’s End: London

Technically, this was made in a small town outside London, but since it involves the apocalypse, we can safely assume the damage made its way to the big city too, right?

11. Honorable Mention


Fast and Furious 6 did some damage to London and really destroyed a long, elevated highway in Spain, so don’t forget that!

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Kind of gives the term “chewing scenery” a whole new meaning.

1. Chef (2014)


Aldamisa Entertainment

Carl (Jon Favreau) is a chef at an upscale restaurant who feels stunted by the repetitive menu insisted upon by his boss. When he loses his temper and consequently his job, he gets back to his cooking roots making Cuban sandwiches in a food truck with his estranged son.

Most Delicious Scene: Carl’s seductive and simple pasta with pesto.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

2. The Lunchbox (2013)


Sikhya Entertainment

Young, neglected housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) in Mumbai sends an extra-special lunch to her husband via the city’s sprawling courier service in the hopes of rekindling the flame. When it is mistakenly delivered to a solitary widower (Irfan Khan), the two begin a sweet though deluded relationship.

Most Delicious Scene: The paneer, in all its iterations.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

3. Chocolat (2000)



Single mother Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter move to rural France and open a chocolaterie across the street from the local church. Their sweet indulgences and Sunday hours (gasp!) cause a moral uproar, unaided by the arrival of swarthy gypsy Roux (Johnny Depp). But really, how long can people hold out against chocolate?

Most Delicious Scene: Anytime a piece of chocolate passes Johnny Depp’s lips. UNF.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

4. Big Night (1996)


Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Brothers Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci) are Italian emigrants who have opened a restaurant in New York. Primo is the sophisticated chef who will not bow to patrons’ pedestrian expectations of Italian fare; Secondo is the smooth-talking manager who just wants to run a good business. When they’re tapped for a special benefit concert, they attempt to compromise and pull out all the stops for their “big night.”

Most Delicious Scene: The unveiling of the timpano.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

5. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)


Magnolia Pictures

This now-classic food documentary follows 85-year-old Jiro Ono, a world-renowned sushi chef completely devoted to his craft. Watching relentless pursuit of perfection is equal parts awe-inspiring, soul-crushing and totally mouthwatering.

Most Delicious Scene: Jiro sushi course “concerto.”

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

6. Babette’s Feast (1987)

MGM Home Entertainment

MGM Home Entertainment

Set in a remote 19th Danish century village, two sisters forlorn lead a strict life spent caring for their father, the local minister. Years after missed opportunities to move away and the death of their father, they take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, as their servant. Babette repays the sisters for their kindness with a decadent French meal.

Most Delicious Scene: The feast, of course!

Where You Can Watch It: Hulu Plus.

7. Like Water For Chocolate (1992)



This movie is all about the passionate affair between Tita (Lumi Cavazos), a beauty from a traditional Mexican family who is forbidden to marry, and Pedro (Marco Leonardi), the young stallion who has stolen her heart. If that doesn’t get you, here’s the twist: Everything Tita cooks is infused with her emotions, causing powerful and not always pleasant reactions in all who consume it.

Most Delicious Scene: Tita’s quail in rose petal sauce.

Where You Can Watch It:

8. Waitress (2007)


Fox Searchlight Pictures

Jenna (Keri Russell) is a melancholy and pregnant waitress practicing the art of pie-making at her diner in the hopes of winning the local bake-off and earning enough money to leave her husband. All that changes when a cute new doctor comes to town, and the myriad pies become less a job for Jenna and more a form of therapy.

Most Delicious Scene: “Earl Murders Me Because I’m Having An Affair” Pie.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

9. Ratatouille (2007)


Walt Disney Pictures

Remy (Patton Oswalt) is a rat with a sophisticated palette. When he comes across the kitchen of a fantastic French restaurant, he teams up with the awkward garbage boy Alfredo Linguini (Lou Romano) to bring both their cooking dreams to life. Hijinks ensue.

Most Delicious Scene: When Remy whips up his first soup.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

10. The Trip (2010)


IFC Films

Steve Coogan is asked to tour the finest restaurants of Northern England. When his girlfriend backs out, he invites his best frenemy and fellow comedian Rob Brydon instead. Get ready for incredible cuisine, beautiful countryside, and spot-on Michael Caine impressions.

Most Delicious Scene: Every time Rob orders the scallops.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

11. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)


The Samuel Goldwyn Company

This movie centers around the dinner table of a widowed, masterful Chinese chef and his three grown daughters in Taipai, Taiwan. Each heavenly Sunday meals brings a fresh clash between the modern, independent daughters and their traditional father.

Most Delicious Scene: The opening sequence. The precision! The steam! THE MEAT.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

12. Haute Cuisine (2012)


The Weinstein Company

Based on a true story, Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot) is a celebrated chef in small-town France who is suddenly tapped by the President of the Republic to be his personal cook. Though she faces mad shade from the mostly male kitchen staff and more attention from the president, Laborie finds power in her indisputably amazing cooking.

Most Delicious Scene: The president’s midnight tartine snack with black truffles.

Where You Can Watch It:

13. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)


Warner Bros Entertainment

A poor boy wins a chance to visit the most glorious chocolate factory ever imagined by mere human minds. Even the wallpaper tastes great! Dude who owns it is kind of strange, though.

Most Delicious Scene: THE CHOCOLATE ROOM.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

14. Romantics Anonymous (2010)



The French and their chocolate, amiright? It’s the cute story of the owner of a small chocolate factory and his new chocolatiere, both painfully timid but totally passionate about their work.

Most Delicious Scene: The chocolate tasting.

Where You Can Watch It:

15. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)


Amblin Entertainment

Misfit scientist Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) has created a machine to turn water into food, which goes haywire when it starts converting the water in the atmosphere: It starts raining food! So basically all your childhood—ok, adulthood—dreams come true.

Most Delicious Scene: The ice cream storm!

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

16. Spinning Plates (2012)


Chaos Theory Entertainment

This delectable documentary follows three unique chefs, each serving very different in their own amazing way. From Michelin-rated to backyard BBQs, this movie explores how it doesn’t matter what or where you cook, just that you have a passion for food.

Most Delicious Scene: The twisted artistry of yuba, shrimp, orange, miso.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

17. I Am Love (2009)


Mikado Films

This film is about a Russian woman Emma (Tilda Swinton) who marries into a powerful Milanese family, though haute living leaves her feeling unfulfilled. Enter Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a talented chef who rewakens her passion for life with—what else?—food.

Most Delicious Scene: The prawns.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

18. Bottle Shock (2008)


Intellectual Properties Worldwide

Ok, it’s about the rise of respectability in California winemaking, but you need something to wash down all these food films! Parisian sommelier Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) comes to Cali in 1976 to find the best wine to go head-to-head with its French counterparts in a blind taste test.

Most Delicious Scene: The Judgement of Paris.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

19. Spirited Away (2001)


Walt Disney Studio

When young Chihiro and her family make a pitstop on their way to their new home in the Japanese countryside, they wander into an abandoned amusement park secretly ruled by demons and spirits. When her parents are turned into pigs, Chihiro must find a way to barter with the master of the spiritual bathhouse for all of their freedom.

Most Delicious Scene: When the spirit No-Face is all of us: “Just keep the food coming! I want to eat everything!”

Where You Can Watch It: You can buy it on Amazon.

20. Marie Antoinette (2006)


Columbia Pictures

A dramatic interpretation of the lavish lifestyle of Marie Antoinette in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It’s hard to tell what’s more delicious: all the scandal or all the cake. (JK it’s obviously the cake.)

Most Delicious Scene: So many balls, so many pastries.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

21. Julie & Julia (2009)


Columbia PIctures

The drool-worthy retelling of one woman’s attempt to cook through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Start watching for the food, keep watching for Meryl Streep.

Most Delicious Scene: Boeuf bourguinion and raspberry Bavarian cream.

Where You Can Watch It: iTunes.

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One of the Hollywood staples is the Road Movie. A film that takes place almost entirely on the road, with races, wrecks, and chases. Here are the top fifteen Road Movies of all time.

15. Convoy (Dir. Sam Peckinpah, 1978)

Truckers form a mile long “convoy” in support of a trucker’s vendetta with an abusive sheriff…Based on the country song of same title by C.W. McCall.

14. It Happened One Night (Dir. Frank Capra, 1934)

Ellie Andrews has just, rather reluctantly, wed aviator King Westley when she is whisked away to her father’s yacht and out of King’s clutches. Ellie jumps ship and eventually winds up on a bus headed back to her husband. Against her wishes, she must accept the help of out-of- work reporter Peter Warne. Actually, Warne doesn’t give her any choice: either she sticks with him until he gets her back to her husband, or he’ll blow the whistle on Ellie to her father. Either way, Peter gets what (he thinks!) he wants …. a really juicy newspaper story.

13. Thelma and Louise (Dir. Ridley Scott, 1991)

While on a short weekend getaway, Louise shoots a man who had tried to rape Thelma. Due to the incriminating circumstances, they make a run for it but are soon followed closely by the authorities including a local policeman who is sympathetic to their plight. The federal authorities, however, have less compassion and thus a cross country chase ensues for the two fugitives. Along the way, both women rediscover the strength of their friendship and surprising aspects of their personalities and self-strengths in the trying times.

12. Motorcycle Diaries (Dir. Walter Salles, 2004)

“The Motorcycle Diaries” is based on the journals of Che Guevara, leader of the Cuban Revolution. In his memoirs, Guevara recounts adventures he, and best friend Alberto Granado, had while crossing South America by motorcycle in the early 1950s.

11. The Reivers (Dir. Mark Rydell, 1969)

An old man looks back 60 years to a road trip from rural Mississippi to Memphis, a horse race, and his own coming of age. Lucius’s grandfather gets the first automobile in the area, a bright yellow Winton Flyer. While he’s away, the plantation handyman, Boon Hogganbeck, conspires to borrow the car, taking Lucius with him. Stowed away is Ned, a mulatto and Lucius’s putative cousin. The three head for Memphis, where Boon’s sweetheart works in a whorehouse, where Ned trades the car for a racehorse, and where Lucius discovers the world of adults.

10. Vanishing Point (Dir. Richard C. Sarafian, 1971)

Kowalski, the hero of the story, works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to Frisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours. After a few run-ins with motorcycle cops and highway patrol they start a chase to bring him into custody. Along the way, Kowalski is guided by Supersoul – a blind DJ with a police radio scanner. Throw in lots of chase scenes, gay hitchhikers, a naked woman riding a motorbike, lots of Mopar and you’ve got a great cult hit from the early 70′s.

9. Smokey and the Bandit (Dir. Hal Needham, 1977)

Bandit and Cledus are two truck-driving southerners who accept a dare from big-shots Big and Little Enos to pick up a truckload of beer from Texas and return it to them within a specified amount of time. Picking it up is simple enough, but as they are leaving Texas, Bandit unwittingly picks up Carrie, a hitchhiking bride-to-be who just left her groom, Junior, at the altar. Junior, however, is the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. And when Buford and Junior discover what has happened, they go on a “high-speed pursuit” across the Southeast to catch the bandit.

8. Mad Max (Dir. George Miller, 1979)

It is a few years in the future… The highways of Australia are ruled by violent gangs who have turned the highways into a battleground as they loot gasoline and terrorize the innocent. Max Rockatansky is a policeman who had everything… Until, a murderous motorcycle gang led by the evil Toecutter burns his partner Jim Goose to death and murders his wife and son, after Max killed their leader “The Knight Rider”. Losing his rocker, Max decides to take the law into his own hands as he sets out to get his revenge on the motorcycle gang and become the road warrior known as “Mad Max”.

7. Death Proof (Dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2007)

Stuntman Mike is a former Hollywood stunt race car driver who targets and kills women with his “death-proof” stunt car. In Act I, Mike surfaces in Austin, Texas to target a group of women whom he knows; Jungle Julia an outgoing, dope-smoking, radio DJ/fashion model meeting her old school friends for a night on the town whom are sentimental model Arlene, and local bad-girl Shanna, as well as bar-nut hippie Pam who tries to make Mike notice her, unaware of his sociopath and misogynist tendencies. In Act II, Stuntman Mike surfaces in Tennessee where he randomly picks another another group of women to stalk all of whom work in the motion picture business; Abernathy is a make-up girl and stand-in wanting a change of pace in her life. Lee is a naive B-movie actress. Kim is a tough-minded stunt woman always wanting action. And Zoe is a fellow stunt woman from New Zealand visiting her friends. However, the second set of girls proves more tough to get, and because of a combination of bad luck and Stuntman Mike’s carelessness, the girls decide to turn the tables on their tormentor for revenge of their own.

6. Duel (Dir. Steven Spielberg, 1971)

David Mann is just as his name suggests: an everyman with a mediocre job who has trouble standing up for himself. While driving through the desert to an important appointment, he passes a slow-moving, rusty tanker truck. The driver proves to have a severe case of road-rage and takes offense at this seemingly everyday action, devoting the rest of his day purely to trying to kill Mann. The malevolent driver is never seen, giving the impression that it’s the truck itself that is the aggressor.

5. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (Dir. John Hughes, 1987)

All that Neal Page wants to do is to get home for Thanksgiving. His flight has been canceled due to bad weather, so he decides on other means of transport. As well as bad luck, Neal is blessed with the presence of Del Griffith, Shower Curtain Ring Salesman and all-around blabbermouth, who is never short of advice, conversation, bad jokes, or company. And then he decides that he is going the same direction as Neal.

4. Breakdown (Dir. Johnathan Mostow, 1997)

A man and his wife are driving cross-country from Mass. to San Diego when their new car mysteriously breaks down. A truck driver stops and assists them by taking his wife to the nearest diner to phone for help but in reality is kidnapping her causing her husband to track his wife and the kidnapper down himself.

3. Cannonball Run (Dir. Hal Needham, 1981)

The plot of a cross-country road race is based on an actual event, the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, -and honestly couldn’t be more simpler (a good thing, by the way)- organized by Brock Yates to protest the 55 mph speed limit then in effect in the U.S. The Cannonball was named for Ernest G. “Cannonball” Baker, who in the roaring 20′s rode his motorcycle across the country. Many of the characters are based on ruses developed by real Cannonball racers over the several years that the event was run.

2. Easy Rider Dir. Dennis Hopper, 1969)

Simply put: Wyatt and Billy are two motorcycle riders (bikers) on their way to Mardis Gras, and encounter hitchhikers, a drunken lawyer, a jail cell, a whorehouse and the death of a friend.

1. Death Race 2000 (Dir. Paul Bartel, 1975)

In the near future the ultimate sporting event is the ‘Deathrace’. Contestants score points for running people down as they speed across the country. The sport has crazed fans who sacrifice themselves to the drivers. An overt agency is trying to bring an end to the immoral ‘Deathrace’ and has infiltrated one of their followers in to the race as a navigator. In the end of the race the lives of the competitors, the President and the ‘Deathrace’ itself are in peril.

Bonus: TransAmerica

One week before her sex-change operation, Bree receives a call from a 17-year-old identifying himself as her son from a college liaison. Bree’s psychiatrist won’t approve the surgery until Bree deals with this relationship, so Bree flies to New York City, bails the youth out of juvenile detention, and offers him a ride back to Los Angeles without disclosing that she is his father.

Notable Omissions: Mary Sweeney

Contributor: StewWriter

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