It’s not surprising that limousines are irresistible to Hollywood filmmakers. Limos are a pow
erful visual device for communicating wealth and influence, and a space for intense conversations. They’re a fixture at weddings, which give opportunities for comedy and drama. Stretch limos are associated with special occasions and events that are out of the ordinary. And it’s hard to think of a car chase that wasn’t improved by having a limo.
As a result, there have been many classic limousine scenes in movies over the years, ranging from hushed conversation to high drama. Here are the ten we consider the very best. Caution: there may be spoilers ahead.
#10 Cosmopolis (2012)
This adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel takes its limousines very seriously—a large part of the movie is set in one. A billionaire played by Robert Pattinson decides to travel across Manhattan, in his limo, to get a haircut, even though the President is in town and traffic is at a standstill. He deals—or doesn’t deal—with advisers, lovers, and violent protests rocking the streets surrounding his car. Given how the movie ends—which we won’t spoil—it might have been better if he’d stayed in the car.
#9 National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation (1997)
Painful slapstick comedy with an important safety message. The Griswold family, led as ever by Clark (Chevy Chase) takes a stretch limo down the Las Vegas strip to the Mirage. Clark’s daughter Audrey climbs up into the sunroof, where she gets wedged when Clark closes the sunroof instead of the window. This is the kind of thing a family would usually notice, but the Griswolds are not a usual family.
#8 Arthur (1981)
The original Arthur features the gorgeous Rolls-Royce of millionare Arthur Bach, played by Dudley Moore (in 1981, billionaires weren’t yet paragons of wealth). Bach favors reckless drives through Central Park at night, letting loose insane, cackling, drunken laughter, and courting Liza Minnelli. Not on this list is the badly-received 2011 remake starring Russell Brand.
#7 2012 (2009)
There are all kinds of reasons to take a limousine. One is to escape the Mayan apocalypse. That’s what science fiction writer and sometime chauffeur Jackson Curtis (played by John Cusack) does in 2012. Luckily, Cusack is an excellent driver, and picks an intelligent route through notoriously bad LA traffic, managing to outpace an earthquake that deposits much of California into the Pacific, while his family onto a private plane.
#6 True Lies
In perhaps the best exit from a limousine ever, Jamie Lee Curtis escapes from the back of a limousine, where she’d been held at gunpoint, in an elaborate helicopter rescue.
It turns out the limousine used in this scene was actually operated by remote control, from a camera car driving alongside. Also, Jamie Lee Curtis later does her own stunt work dangling from the helicopter, while being filmed by director James Cameron.
#5 Sex and the City (2008)
Probably the low point, plotwise, of the movie adaptation of the hugely popular television series. After finally, finally agreeing to marry Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie, Big gets cold feet before the ceremony and flees. In a moment of guilt, Big has his driver turn the car around on a one-way street to intercept Carrie’s limo.
He tries to apologize. The apology does not go well. Carrie beats him with what should have been her wedding bouquet, before being hustled away by Miranda and Charlotte. The limo driver, you’ll notice, handles the situation very calmly.
#4 Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Unfortunately for limo drivers, the best-known portrayal of a limo driver in the movies is probably Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber. When Carrey’s character unintentionally takes a briefcase full of ransom money and goes on a road trip to return it, mayhem ensues.
The movie at least gave us the immortal line, “It’s okay! I’m a limo driver.” (Luxor drivers would like you to know that they’re much, much more professional than Jim Carrey.)
#3 Wall Street (1987)
“If you’re not inside, you are outside.” So goes Gordon Gekko’s philosophy of limousines and life. It’s also the advice Michael Douglas gives Charlie Sheen in the back of a limo in this 1980s classic. He goes on to tell Sheen’s character to spy on a CEO and gather information to be used for insider trading.
Three amazing things from this scene: young Charlie Sheen; the moment where young Charlie Sheen has to clamber over Michael Douglas to get out of the car; and seeing people smoke in the back of a limo.
#2 Pretty Woman (1990)
There is romantic, and then there is the ending to Pretty Woman, one of the most popular films of all time. Edward Lewis, as played by Richard Gere, comes to Vivian Ward’s apartment (played by Julia Roberts, obviously).
Gere makes his entrance in a white stretch limo, blaring opera music, while standing up through the sunroof with a bouquet of roses, which he keeps in his teeth as he climbs the fire escape. She, not surprisingly, is won over. Keep an eye out for Gere’s limo driver waiting patiently on the hood of the car at the end of the movie.
#1 The Secret of My Success (1987)
In this classic scene an incredibly young Michael J. Fox, driving the company limo, is seduced by a coworker at his office after he’s instructed to give her a ride. She, by the way, is having an affair with his uncle, who is also her boss, and also his boss.
Everything about this scene is priceless, but in particular, it features some of the best uses of door locks, rearview mirrors, windscreen wipers, lipstick, radio antennae, extreme closeups, and 80s music you will ever see.
At Luxor we’re passionate about limousines and love to see them on screen, although our rides are less eventful, and more professional, than any of the ones you’ll see here.