Almost a year ago now, we ran down our hotly-debated list of the best Fords in the history of film. It was not an easy list for us to make; for every iconic car you let in, another, arguably cooler iconic car gets left out in the cold, wondering what it could have done to make itself more memorable.
Well, in honor of those cars, and the summer days that have us fantasizing about taking to the open road ourselves, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite Ford also-rans. They may not be Bullitt’s fastback Mustang, but at the end of the day, what is?
Barricade – Transformers – 2007
Of the four movies that make up the disastrously badly-reviewed Transformers series, the first one is indisputably the most watchable. It has big explosions, robot fights, and transforming cars, so it certainly has a place in the action movie genre. Almost every vehicle in the franchise is made by General Motors, the result of a much-maligned sponsorship funded in part by GM’s government bailout, but the most noteworthy exception to that monopoly is Barricade, one of the villainous Decepticons.
Fun fact: Ford didn’t like the idea of the only Ford in the franchise being a bad guy, so they opted not to put a car in the movie. Fortunately, Saleen, an independent manufacturer that produces modified Mustangs, was interested, and the result is a Mustang police car that turns into a giant, angry robot.
Starsky’s Gran Torino – Starsky and Hutch – 1975-1979
Bay City, California was a scary place to live in the late 1970s. Stalkers, crime syndicates, car thieves and vandals made the fictional Southern California locale a town to avoid after dark. But it would have been a lot scarier if it wasn’t patrolled by David Starsky’s bright red Ford Gran Torino. Hutch may have called it the Striped Tomato, but it was no vegetable when it got up to speed (although, as keen readers may observe, a tomato isn’t technically a vegetable either.)
Louise’s Thunderbird – Thelma and Louise – 1991
Thelma and Louise was an overwhelming commercial and critical success. It was one of the best critically-received films of director Ridley Scott’s legendary career, it launched the career of Brad Pitt, and won Callie Khouri an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. As great as Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were as the titular BFFs, our hearts belong to Louise’s 1966 Ford Thunderbird. They were two women looking for freedom from the world that oppressed them at every turn, and they found the perfect car to fly away in. Pro-tip: if you love the car, skip the ending.
That’s this week’s rundown of Fords in Film. Stay tuned for another, because we could think up great movie cars all day!