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The Ford Mustang is the original pony car. In its 60 years, the Mustang has been in countless movies, from automotive bystanders to star car roles. To celebrate its lengthy tenure, we chose five of our favorite times Mustangs stole the silver screen in Hollywood movies. 

The Ford Mustang has been no stranger to the silver screen for decades

Some movie cars need no introduction. Case in point, the Volkswagen Beetle in “The Love Bug” or the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in the 2000 remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds.” However, Nicolas Cage’s car theft sequel is far from the only time the Ford Mustang stole the screen. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • “Bullitt” (1968)
  • “Gone in 60 Seconds” (1974)
  • “Need for Speed” (2014)
  • “John Wick” (2014)
  • “Drive” (2011)

It has a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes. But if you’re not a car fan, you might have missed the hype surrounding the 1968 cult classic “Bullitt.” In the film, actor Steve McQueen plays Lt. Frank Bullitt, a San Francisco cop who drives his 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 as if he’s perpetually on his way to diffuse a bomb. Better yet, director Peter Yates and the creative minds behind the film chose to shoot the 11-minute chase scene sans music. Instead, the film treats viewers to an automotive soundscape of eight-cylinder bass and tire squeal tenor.

Steve McQueen along with one of the most famous Ford Mustang ever to appear in movies, the 'Bullitt' GT 390.
Steve McQueen next to a Highland Green GT 390 | Silver Screen Collection, Getty Images

If you were born anytime before the new millennium, there’s a good chance that the Nicolas Cage remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds” was one of your favorite car films for a spell. However, the movie takes its inspiration from the 1974 film of the same name. Better yet, in that movie, a 40-minute chase pits a yellow Ford Mustang named “Eleanor” against baddies in the longest Hollywood car chase ever.

Conversely, critics had little praise for the 2014 film “Need for Speed.” Specifically, the video game franchise-turned-film received a 23% Rotten Tomatoes score. However, the film boasts old-school stunt work, including a flashy widebody S197 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 sliding about in a spectacularly reckless fashion. 

In “John Wick,” the title character chases villains who killed his dog and stole his 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429. Moreover, the second film starts with him recovering the Boss 429 and nearly destroying it in the process. Of course, the car is up for debate; many fans insist that the Mustangs in the movies were actually a couple of dressed-up Mach 1s.