If you're looking for a dose of automotive movie action instead of the usual Yuletide flicks this Christmas, take our advice and dig out these films that feature cars in leading roles.
Grand Prix (1966)
Directed by John Frankenheimer; starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand
Grand Prix is just as well filmed as Steve McQueen’s Le Mans but comes with the sizeable benefit of actually having a plot. But my interest here is personal, because I once spent a day with its star, the late James Garner. He was so good he not only did all his own driving but also doubled for other actors who were too scared to get behind the wheel. And when he bails out of his burning ‘Yamura’ at Brands Hatch, that really is Garner you’re seeing. Far more importantly, he was also not only an incurable petrolhead but one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. Andrew Frankel
School for Scoundrels (1960)
Directed by Robert Hamer; starring Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim
For a start, that wonderful celluloid cad and bounder Terry-Thomas is in it – and not only that, he’s also driving a Benelli. Well, actually an Aston Martin DB3S, but here’s your first clue that this is no ordinary film, which uses four-wheeled plot devices. Hero Ian Carmichael is conned by Peter Jones and Dennis Price into buying the preposterous Swiftmobile, which underneath the serpent and elephant bonnet ornament is actually a 4.5-litre Bentley. It all comes good in the end as Carmichael part-exchanges it for a Healey 3000 and £100. James Ruppert