_ Menu is loading please wait 

 

The Ford Thunderbird in the Entertainment Industry

 The glamorous image that has been associated with the
various Models of the Ford Thunderbird has resulted in it
appearing in many Film and TV situations.
Also several personalities have owned the Thunderbirds.

If I have missed any please

 
Films Television Celebrity drivers
  bout de souffle (Breathless)
 France 1959 - Jean-Luc Godard
The French Version

The US Poster

The English version

 A young man, obsessed with Gangster movies, guns down a Paris Cop and flees with his girlfriend towards Italy, with impeccable style he selects a white 1957 T-Bird as his transport to the final shootout.


Follow That Dream
US 1962 -


Elvis heads south with an adopted brood of kids and his anti-government Father (Arthur O'Connell) to a place on a Florida beach.



 Summer Holiday
 UK 1962 - Peter Yates

A generation of British young boys were dragged to the local Cinema by their big sister to watch this Cliff Richard Musical. 
(I was at any rate)
 The director went on to far better things with Bullitt.

 A white 1959 T-Bird provides the "chase car" in which the Female lead's mother follows the London Double Decker on it's journey to the sun.


The Shuttered Room
(Blood Island)
 UK 1967 - David Greene

Oliver Reed and a 1966 T-Bird career around a New England Island looking for a plot.
OK, so apparently it's a Classic of the genre, but H P Lovecraft wasn't about to win an Oscar as a screenwriter.


Murderers' Row
US 1968

Matt Helm (Dean Martin) drove a 1961?


The Wrecking Crew
US 1969

Matt Helm (Dean Martin) drove a ?



Winning
US 1969 - James Goldstone

The "Governor" of Racing Movies (and jumping Motorcycles over fences), Paul Newman, uses a 2 Door Black 1969 T-Bird Landau for a track inspection of Indianapolis and gets backs to Room 212 in the Motel to find his wife in bed with Robert Wagner.
 I think you can guess who wins the race....


Diamonds are Forever
UK 1971 - Guy Hamilton

A 1969 T-Bird Provides the James Bond's Baddies with a ride that starts smooth  but ...




US 1973 - George Lucas
American Graffiti

The Ultimate Cruising Movie?
 The Porthole window of a white
1956 T-Bird gives tantalising glimpses of the Mysterious Girl.
 Some see it as an over length pilot episode for Happy Days, it certainly launched Ron Howard's career as well as giving George Lucas the funding to create Star Wars.


 Breathless
 US 1980
You can do it in the Drivers seat !

The Hollywood remake of bout de souffle translates a story that was probably far too existentialist for US audiences into Soft Porn.

 Richard Gere and Valerie Kaprisky use the Vega$ car in ways that Dan Tanner would never have considered.


 Six Pack
 US 1982

NASCAR T-Birds Starred in this "cute movie" that was supposed to launch Kenny Roger's Movie career. Good job he can sing really.


 Elvira - Mistress of the Dark
 US 1988 - James Signorelli

A heavily Customised 1958 T-Bird starred in this .... Comedy?
 One reviewer called it an American "Carry On" film.


 Days of Thunder
 US 1990 - Tony Scott

If you can stay awake through this "Top Gun on Wheels" Cruise, you may well spot some nice NASCAR T-Birds.

Why is it that Motor Racing makes such poor Movie material?


 Thelma and Louise
 US 1991 - Ridley Scott

A classic road movie with a feminist twist. Is Brad Pitt drooling over the Blue
1966 T-Bird or it's contents:
Susan Saradon and Geena Davis?  


 Are truckers really that Bad?
 Nevada, Colorado, and Utah provide glorious locations but can a T-Bird Fly?


Sugartime
US - 1995 HBO

A stunning 57 T-Bird brightens up this dreary "Mob Boss falls in love with singer", most surprising is that it is (allegedly) a true story!


 Flubber
 US 1997 - Les Mayfield

Robin Williams, Disney, a Thunderbird and a remake of a classic film, how could they get it SO WRONG?
 
 The Absent minded Professor Mark2 flies his
1963 T-Bird into early video release.


 Die Another Day
 UK 2002 - Lee Tamahori

Blink, and you'll miss it,  Halle Berry's Red 2002 T-Bird appears for a total of 11 seconds in front of the Ice Palace.
 Ford allegedly paid $35 million to have the Aston Martin, Jaguar, and T-Bird as the Stars ...


The Cat in the Hat
 US 2003 - Bo Welch

Watch out for the 2003 Thunderbird and if you get the feeling you are watching "The Grinch meets Austin Powers" .....



 UK 2004

Allegedly FAB1 is the ThunderBird J-Type, Ford thought this 6 wheel Customisation of the 2002 T-Bird was a good idea at the time as Rolls Royce refused to be involved .......

Most amazing thing is that the car is driveable as proven by "Fifth Gear" a UK TV Programme which drove this 29 foot monster through the smallest Village High Street they could find to see if anyone noticed!

Vega$
US 1978-81 Aaron Spelling

Dan Tanna - Private Eye cruised the apparently extensive streets of Las Vegas in a Corvette "devil red" 1957 T-Bird setting the fashion for having a continental Kit on a '57.  In fact he drove the same section of street multiple times in the same "shot" just watch the rear projection repeating whilst he speaks on his "Car telephone" (whilst driving a convertible?)
 Pilot + 68 episodes were  made, Dan Tanna was played By Robert Urich, Tony Curtis played his employer the Owner of the Desert Inn.
 Show was reputedly one of the most stylish Detective series, it certainly had an impressive list of Guest Stars, Robert Urich later resurrected the role in Spenser for Hire.
 2 cars were actually used in the filming, a "Show" car for close ups and a "Stunt" Car  fitted with a Police Chrysler engine and locking front wheels for the Tire screeching scenes.
 At the end of filming the cars were painted Aqua so they could be used in the 1980 Film remake of Breathless.



US 1974-84
Pinky's Bird?

The Fonz's girlfriend Pinky Tuscadero (Roz Kelly) allegedly drove a 1957 T-Bird.  Matchbox modelled this car, I can not guarantee it actually appeared in the program.

 Pinky (Roz Kelly) appeared in episodes #64-66 in September 1976, she was Leather Tuscadero's (Suzi Quattro) Elder Sister.
Roz went to prison in 1998 after shooting her neighbour's car when the Alarm sounded continuously in the early hours of the morning!

 A Thunderbird does however appear in episode #82 when Susie gives Richie a lift to their graduation ceremony in her new T-Bird.
If you know the year  of Susie's car please let me know?


 

 

 

 

 

Die cast makers are determined to make us believe that Celebrities all owned 1957 T-Birds, not the case guys!
Elvis Presley

Elvis did not own a 1957 T-Bird, the only T-Bird he owned was a 1962 Sports Roadster which he only kept for 2 days.
More


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn never owned a 1957 T-Bird, the famous Photo Shoot was done using a rented car. She did however own a 1955.
More


Peter Sellers

It is widely rumoured that Peter Sellers owned a 1957 Thunderbird. however his appetite for buying cars was prodigious and he owned over 90 cars including a Mini with a Rolls Royce Engine.

I am still researching this