John Frankenheimer's Ronin is a no-CGI thriller starring Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce. Oh, and around eighty vehicles that got destroyed in one way or another to give us arguably the greatest movie car chase of all time.
In case you haven't seen it yet, take a moment to go back two decades to the showdown between a BMW M5 and a Peugeot 406:
Frankenheimer didn't believe in fancy animations, nor in speeding up frame rates. He insisted that the latter would affect the lighting of his choice of mute colors, as Ronin was shot in Super 35 format. He also preferred placing the actors inside the cars, who therefore started production by completing a driving school. Nevertheless, it was only Skipp Sudduth who was allowed to do his own stunts driving the Audi. Using no brakes.
For the final chase sequence in Paris, the production team purchased four BMW M5s and five Peugeot 406s. One of each was cut in half to be towed by a red Mercedes-Benz 500E with the actors inside. Yes, the same Merc that made in Luc Besson's equally memorable 1998 action comedy, Taxi.
The scene also required a total of 300 stunt drivers, led by former Formula 1 racer Jean-Pierre Jarier. He was helped by stunt coordinators Jean-Claude Lagniez and Michel Neugarten, and his main task was flat-out driving with right-hand drive cars, as the stars turned the dummy wheels for the camera.
These are all fairly well-known facts thanks to all the documentaries and interviews about the movie, but did you know that Ronin's team also used some Porsche 911s as camera cars?
Nowadays, movie crews prefer to use matte black Porsche Cayennes because of their load capacity, speed and ride quality off-road. But back in the 1990s, on cold winter days in France, it was all about the G-series 911 keeping up with the M5s.
Cabrios or coupes, it really didn't matter. The Porsches' front hoods got removed, so that a camera mount could take its place, giving Frankenheimer the tracking shots he required before the crew ran out of BMWs to flip.
What's the color of the boathouse at Hereford? #966 Light Bronze Metallic, according to .
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