1974 • 1989 • 2000 Official Website
 

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

 Film Synopsis

GONE IN 60 SECONDS (1974) starring the car character Eleanor, H.B. ‘Toby’ Halicki, Marion Busia, George Cole, Jerry Daugirda, James McIntyre, Ron Halicki and Parnelli Jones. The film was written, produced and directed by H.B. ‘Toby’ Halicki and is the bases for the Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 remake) that was Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Executive Produced by Denice Shakarian Halicki.

Ms. Halicki made a License deal with Hollywood Pictures (subsidiary of Disney) to do a remake based off her late husband’s and her 1974 Gone in 60 Seconds Movie. Ms. Halicki released worldwide the DVD and Blue-ray, and then released among other licensing deals, a line of toys, merchandise, Die Cast and Remote Cars, including her star car character Eleanor from the (1974) and (2000) movies.

The filming for the Original Gone in 60 Seconds began in 1973 and was shot throughout Los Angeles, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and San Pedro California. There are 6 Law Enforcement Departments involved in the filming; Torrance Police Department, Redondo Beach Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and The California Highway Patrol.

The film’s Police “1-Baker- 11” Detectives Driver (Butch Stockton) and Detective Passenger (Phil Woods) are the pursuers in the 40 Minute “Eleanor’s non-stop car chase scene, wrecking over 93 cars!

CUT TO THE CHASE!

THE ASSIGNMENT: Mandarin Pace (H.B. Halicki) the #1 car thief in Southern California. He and his Crew get a “list” of 48 muscle and exotic cars, they will pull off the ultimate heist and steal 48 muscle and exotic cars. Pace gives each car a “Lady Codename.”

THE CHALLENGE: Get all the “Ladies” to the docks and don’t get caught! ELEANOR the star car character gives Mandarin Pace a ride of his life. She's one fast 1973 Yellow with Black Stripes Custom Ford Fastback Mustang — a superhero of car chases… buckle up as she slams through cities, cops after cops can't touch her…

STORY AND PRODUCTION BACKGROUND

H.B. ‘Toby’ Halicki plays Maindrian “Pazinski” Pace who gets a contract to deliver 48 cars. Maindrian only has a week to deliver the cars to the docks to be shipped to a South American buyer. Maindrian is the #1 car thief in Southern California. He sets up the perfect cover; he lives a double life as an “Insurance Investigator.” He and his crew are unstoppable car thieves, if they want a vehicle; it’s Gone in 60 Seconds.

In a hidden chop shop, Maindrian and his crew; his brother; “Corlis” played by Ron Halicki, Stanley “Sage” Chase played by James McIntyre, and Maindrian’s right-hand man; “Atley Jackson” is played by George Cole, who give a 101 in car thievery… as the crew chop up a wrecked red 1971 Challenger called “Jill” … “You buy a wrecked car. We cut it up, remove and save all parts that utilize the wrecked car’s VIN numbers, engines, parts, door, trunk locks, parking decals, bumper stickers and write down the mileage, the tires make and size. Then you go out and steal her twin.” In the next scene, Maindrian boosts “Jill’s” twin from the Los Angeles Airport, while you hear the Airport speaker informing people… “Please lock your car. Do not leave parking ticket in your car.” Back at the chop shop, the crew switch out the “Jill” twin parts with the wrecked “Jill’s” clean VIN Number and parts, now Jill is ready to be sold. Maindrian states… “Jill just became a statistic, one of the thirty-two percent of cars stolen never to be recovered again.” Halicki sets up the Gone in 60 Seconds plot with the “ultimate heist.” Maindrian and his crew get a contract for $400,000 to steal 48 cars, including trucks, limousine and even a famous race car. The 48 cars need to be at the docks by this Friday to be shipped to a South American buyer. This only gives Maindrian and his crew a week, but he agrees. Mr. Villos hands over $250,000 upfront money and warns Maindrian… “I don’t need to remind you of the consequence should you fail to perform!”

Halicki came up with a very clever way for Maindrian and his crew to talk about the cars they needed to steal without anyone else knowing what car they are talking about. In the scene at “Chase Research” the insurance investigation company’s office, Maindrian has Atley Jackson make a list of all the cars on the chalkboard and then gives each one a “lady codename.” Maindrian asks Atley to get everything set up for when they get back from Eugene Chase’s wedding in New York.

The clock is ticking as the deadline closes in. The “heist is impossible” in Atley Jackson’s eyes as he calls Maindrian at Eugene’s wedding… “There is no way we can steal this many car by Friday.” Maindrian is calm and cool… “We don’t have to switch them, just clean them up and deliver.” Maindrian and Eugene Chase played by Jerry Daugirda get into a fight when Maindrian informs Eugene that he has to postpone his honeymoon. Pumpkin Chase played by Marion Busia tries to calm down the situation. Maindrian informs Eugene he needs to shape up or he’s out.

Maindrian and the crew arrive back in California, at the Los Angeles Airport, Maindrian spots “Eleanor” 1973 Yellow Fastback Mustang from the “list” of the 48 cars. Maindrian goes to his brief case for tools, as his brother’ Corlis asks if he could boost her, Maindrian agrees. As Corlis sets out to boost Eleanor, Atley Jackson spots a Rolls Royce on the “list.” He watches the Chauffeur grab baggage out of the Roll’s trunk and leaves the key in the trunk lock. They boost the Rolls. (The Rolls Royce in the scene is Halicki’s personal car with the license plate of his initials HBH).

Halicki had to come up with a way to film the “Los Angeles Airport” scene. So, they found a great street with a building that looks like an airport baggage area. The one situation Halicki faced was the street was lined with parking meters. Halicki solved the situation by standing Extras/Actors in front of the parking meters. If you look closely you’ll see the parking meter poles between the Extras/Actors legs.

Corlis doesn’t have any luck with “Eleanor,” when he opens the door a lady with curlers in her hair is in the driver’s seat. Corlis apologizes and hurries back to the crew. Halicki makes sure in the storyline that “Eleanor” is a ‘mission impossible’ for Maindrian to capture. Every time Maindrian boosts “Eleanor” something goes wrong. (Eleanor is a 1971 Fastback Mustang playing a 1973 Fastback Mustang. Halicki customized her look among other things, her hood and lower front valance with two sets of blinkers. In the opening scene of Gone in 60 Seconds, “Eleanor” is the only “starring credit” (the only Ford Mustang in history to get a starring credit in a movie.) As Maindrian is racing down a highway in an orange Cadillac lined with sunglasses on the dashboard (in real life Halicki had a line of Sunglasses on his dashboard of some of his cars.) Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino played homage to Halicki/Gone in 60 Seconds in “Kill Bill” as Detective Earl McGraw played by Michael Park is racing down the highway with a line of sunglasses on the dashboard, on his way to the church scene. Tarantino also wrote dialog for his characters in “Death Proof” about the Original Gone in 60 Seconds as one of the all-time great car movies.

Halicki was smart; a great independent filmmaker! When you can borrow, “borrow” (he borrowed the orange Cadillac from a friend in the opening scene.) When reading the morning newspaper, and there is news of a train derailment, he act quickly. Halicki calls Jack Vacek (cinematography) and tells him we have our “opening scene to the movie” … get the crew and I’ll meet you out there. Halicki shot the train derailment footage and later in editing Halicki wrote and then did “voice over dialog” for the footage. Halicki employed family and friends to play the movie actors. As Denice Halicki says in the intro of the DVD… “The pedestrians on the sidewalk are real pedestrians. The Police played the Police, the Firemen played the Firemen, Paramedics played the Paramedices and the Mayor played the Mayor.”

Halicki was able to have all his friends from the 6 Law Enforcement Departments involved in the filming; Torrance Police Department, Redondo Beach Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and The California Highway Patrol. To help in the filming, was a big savings. Plus make the film real more authentic.

Halicki knew the Law Enforcement Departments schedules and on Sunday was when it was a Skelton crew patrolling the streets and highways. This was a prefect time for Halicki and Vacek (Cinematography) to strap their movie camera in “Eleanor” and races her through the streets and freeways. Halicki was able to get unbelievable raw footage at high speeds.

Vacek first heard of Halicki when he heard there was a guy buying close to a hundred cars, cop cars, trucks, garbage and fire trucks. Halicki bought the vehicles from the insurance and city auctions. Halicki stored them until he started filming.

Maindrian had his crew start boosting from the “list” of cars. Everything is going smoothly. They even boost Parnelli Jones’s (legendary race car driver) “Ole Bronco” and J.C. Agajanian’s (racing icon) white Rolls Royce from Agajanian’s own Ascot Speedway.

Denice Shakarian Halicki (H.B. ‘Toby’ Halicki’s widow) is related to the racing “Agajanian family.” And the son; J.C. Agajanian Jr. played the Detective with the Light Blue Car at the Mazda dealership in the famous 40-minute chase scene. J.C. Agajanian Jr. had to jump over the blue car because Halicki came in to fast with Eleanor and slammed into the blue car (listen to the DVD audio commentary, its great how J.C. Agajanian Jr. tells the true story).

Maindrian boosts an “Eleanor” at night out of a man’s open garage. The only problem is Harold Dwight Smith played by Edward Abrahms; happens to walk out of his house to see his 1973 Yellow Mustang being stolen. Harold gives chase in his dark blue Plymouth, “Eleanor” and Maindrian are too fast for them. Harold’s Plymouth swerves and causes the ladies in a station wagon to overturn. Halicki used six men to flip the car over for the scene, then Warner E. Leighton (editor) skip frames the scene to create the car’s flip over. The 911 call hits the airwaves and soon Harold is pulled over and stopped in a gas station. (Halicki used real police and the motorcycle gang where real too.) Harold is taken into custody. Harold tries to convince the police that he was chasing a guy that stole his car. The Cops and Harold pull up in Harold’s driveway and sees Harold’s 1973 yellow mustang. Harold… “What the hell is my car doing in my garage? Halicki loved to add humor into his films.

Maindrian and Eugene have another fight because Eugene wants to go on his honeymoon and he heard Maindrian returned the 1973 Yellow Fastback Mustang “Eleanor” on the list. Maindrian explains he found out that that car is owned by Harold Dwight Smith senior claims supervisor for the Candid Insurance Company. Maindrian and his crew are going through the “list” quickly. Stanley drops Pace off by another “Eleanor” parked in the driveway. Maindrian says… “I’m getting tried of stealing this Eleanor car. Well this time I’ve got her and she’s about to go bye-bye.” This was Halicki’s real home on Mariposa Ave, Gardena CA where he was filming. The Tiger scene with Atley Jackson is priceless. “Teio” is the name of the Tiger. Maindrian and Eugene have another fight this time over “Jill” the 1971 Red Challenger, because the “Insurance Adjuster” that handled the “total loss” case on the Red challenger just saw it for sale at Taylor Webb Used Car lot and they want us to investigate Taylor Webb. Maindrian calms Eugene down and says he’ll take care of it.

In the early morning, Maindrian drives a Tow Truck into Taylor Webb Used Car lot and hooks up “Jill” but is spotted by a Security Guard. The “chase is on”. Maindrian races through the city with “Jill” on the back of his Tow Truck. Finally, the Security Guard patrol car smashes into a truck and Maindrian gets away. Maindrian’s brother Corlis is already in the wrecking yard’s “crane” when Maindrian pulls up with “Jill”. Corlis grabs “Jill” and sends her to the crusher. Back at the insurance shop garage, Corlis and Atley drives in with “Nancy” a 1971 White Cadillac Eldorado. Maindrian, Atley, Corlis and Eugene find heroine in the trunk. Eugene says… “We’re rich! There’s a million bucks here.” Maindrian wants them to take the car back.

Then there’s a loud knock on the door, its Detective Hawkins. Atley tries to get rid of the heroine. Hawkins gives Pace (Pazinski) the lowdown on all the expensive cars stolen this week. When he leaves he turns to Pace and says… “You know Pazinski, there’s probably been five more cars stolen in just the time I’ve been here.” Pace smiles back… “No, I don’t think so, Hawkins.” Halicki only allowed Hawkins character to call Maindrian Pace by his middle name “Pazinski.” Pace burns the heroine Caddy, to the ground. Pace made the 48-car deadline with no time to spare. The “list” has been filled. But now Pumpkin tells Pace that he has to give the Yellow Mustang back because it is not insured. Maindrian reads the owner's address from a newspaper: 18511 S. Mariposa Ave, Gardena. Yellow Mustang was not insured.

Out of nowhere, Eugene races into the office and gets into a physical fight with Pace over him burning up the Heroine Cadillac with the heroine in it. Eugene yells… “You burnt a million dollars worth of heroin?” Finally, Pace gets the upper hand and tosses Eugene onto the floor, and says… “I’m gonna give Eleanor back… because I know where there’s another… at the International Towers in Long Beach.”

Eugene is after revenge and calls Detective Hawkins and says… “You want to catch that car theft ring that’s been bothering you? Well, put a stakeout at the International Towers in Long Beach.”

Stanley drives Maindrian back to the dock’s warehouse to get the uninsured “Eleanor.” Halicki shot this scene on a Sunday because no one was around and he wanted the “Queen Mary” in the shot. In the scene Pace walks up to a locked warehouse door and puts his key in to open it. In truth Halicki did not have the key that opens that door and it was locked. So, in editing they cut to Halicki’s own personal warehouse. “1-Baker- 11” Police Detectives Driver (Butch Stockton) and Detective Passenger (Phil Woods) are staking out the International Towers in Long Beach, in their unmarked 4 door Mercury. Detectives watch “Eleanor” exit lower garage and stop as Eleanor’s alarm goes off. Detectives hear the alarm and turn on the camera in the back seat to “on” to film him. Halicki incorporated his “Movie camera” to be the “Detective’s camera” so that Halicki never had to remove the camera from the shot and he could get “1-Baker- 11’s” point of view chasing “Eleanor.”

“Eleanor” does the talking in the famous (40 minute) chase scene. The “Eleanor” pursuit is the longest car chase (40 minutes) in movie history and takes “Eleanor” and Pace through five cities.

USA today… “It’s on of the Greatest Car Chase Scene in History!”

Halicki used “Billy and the Lowriders” as comic relief through out Eleanor’s chase. Halicki hired George Cole (Atley Jackson), 3 sons; Anthony Cole, Michael Cole and Mark Cole, along with Edward Booker, Don Simmons and Ron Simmons. Halicki would dress up in make up, wear an afro hair piece and drive the White Caddy Lowrider in the dangerous stunt scenes so the kids would be safe.

Halicki was very concerned about crashing into someone else’s cars while filming Eleanor’s chase. Halicki had over 80 of his cars on set. The film crew would stage the vehicles so Eleanor and the Cop cars could hit them if needed. Halicki used the same cars multiple times throughout in the 40-minute sequence.

In the Ron Moran Cadillac scene, Halicki stages some newer Cadillacs in the front row next to the dealership’s Cadillacs. The scene called for “Eleanor” to be chased through the Cadillac dealership by a white Cop Car. “Eleanor” escapes as the White Cop car hits the staged Cadillacs, but the oil slick worked to well and the dealership’s Cadillacs got wreaked in the scene. Halicki had to purchase all of them.

The police cars damaged in the film, the garbage truck that overturns, three fire trucks, including two waiting for the cars to clear, and another one stopping to put out a fire were bought at city auctions by Halicki.

When Halicki was staging the “crash scene” on the Vincent Thomas Bridge a couple Long Beach Fire Trucks where on a “test emergency call” and arrived on the blocked bridge, by Halicki’s staged “crash scene”. Halicki quickly started filming the Fire Trucks. Halicki moved his staged cars out of the way so the Fire Trucks could pass. Halicki would change costumes and drive different cars in the crashes on the Bridge. In the Garbage Truck scene. Halicki sets it up so “Eleanor” does a 360 and escapes, as the Cop Cars crash into the garage truck and turns over and crushes the Lady’s Green Dodge! Halicki used pulleys attached to a couple of tow trucks to pull the garbage truck over to get the stunt action effect. The Freeway scene called for “Eleanor” to race across the freeway and exit off the “off ramp.” In the stunt, Halicki got clipped by the Cadillic and it sent him and “Eleanor" spinning 100 mph into a light pole. The hit was so hard it broke “Eleanor’s” frame. The film crew loaded up Eleanor and the Light pole and left the scene. Halicki fixed Eleanor’s frame a week later. Laid down the light pole and parked “Eleanor” in the same place. Then started filming again and “Eleanor” roared off up the “off ramp”

Eleanor’s jump scene is the climax to the chase sequence, the "Eleanor" jump is over 30’ high and 128' in distance. A feat rarely attempted today, without CGI or a gas-driven catapult. Halicki compacted ten vertebrae performing this jump, the injury was not serious, but Halicki never walked the same again. With Police roadblocks and surveillance everywhere, Maindrian is looking for an exit. Then Maindrian spots another "Eleanor" Mustang in the Rosecrane car wash. Pace quickly drives the smashed Mustang up to the wash entrance, leaves it with the girl. She asks… “Sir, what happened to your car?” Pace smiles… “You know those parking lot attendants.”

Then Maindrian convinces the Mustang owner of the newly washed “Eleanor” that he’s going to rewash her car and asks her to go to the manager’s office. Maindrian jumps into “Eleanor” and he’s Gone in 60 Seconds. Maindrian pulls into a parking lot, quickly swaps license plates and removes his disguise. Meanwhile, the owner of the Mustang is inquiring with the manager of the car wash as to the whereabouts of her Mustang. She faints at the sight of the wrecked “Eleanor” car as it exits the wash bay. A Black and White Cop car spots the wrecked Mustang, quickly descending upon the scene to arrest the manager of the car wash, who matches the description of Pace.

The film ends with Maindrian saying good bye to “Billy and the Lowriders” and clears a police roadblock and driving off with his leading lady "Eleanor." Remember this is Grand-Theft Entertainment in movies. So, don’t steal anyone’s car or property!

2017 Copyright Denice Shakarian Halicki. All rights reserved
Gone in 60 Seconds® and Eleanor® are registered trademarks and the Copyrighted "Eleanor" Star Car Character are
owned exclusive by Denice Shakarian Halicki and are licensed under her Companies.

Please beware that counterfeiting is under 18 U.S. Code 2320 criminal code, includes fines, jail time, forfeiture and destruction of the counterfeit property.


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