Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

In director Dominic Sena's glossy, testosterone-gassed up, action-heist film - it was a glossy remake of the 1974 fast car classic (featuring a climactic demolition-derby, destructive car chase), with a new plot and characters. Its main carbooster (thief) was ex-car thief Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage) who was called out of retirement - it was Cage's 3rd action film for producer Jerry Bruckheimer (after The Rock (1996) and Con Air (1997)).

The film made a clear connection between sex, 'ladies' (slang term used for cars) and automobiles, to the point of creating a fetishized worship of four-wheeled cars: ("Hello, ladies. I always was a sucker for a redhead"). Although the film was criticized for being very mediocre, it was a very successful film at the box-office (on a budget of about $100 million, it made domestic revenue of $101.6 million and $237.2 million worldwide).

In this stereotypical, by-the-numbers, predictable film with cliched conventions throughout, anti-hero "Memphis" Raines had gone straight in 1994 and had been working for about six years as a teacher of kids learning about Go-Kart racing. According to various statistics, car thefts had gone done 47% in the Long Beach area after "Memphis" had retired.

His younger irresponsible, undisciplined and impulsive brother Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi), who had followed in his idolized brother's footsteps and taken over the auto theft business in the LA area, was hired for $200,000 dollars ($10,000 advanced) to steal 50 high-end cars for a psychopathic, wealthy British gangster, car dealer, woodworker and crime boss named Raymond "The Carpenter" Calitri (Christopher Eccelston) working in Long Beach, CA. During the heist of the vehicles, Kip led the police on a foolhardy joy ride to the warehouse where the 50 stolen cars were being stored, and the whole lot of vehicles was impounded.

Kip was apprehended by an angry Calitri and his henchman - and was threatened with being crushed in a car-cruncher machine. Atley Jackson (Will Patton), a former crew member for "Memphis" who was now an associate of Calitri, contacted Kip's older brother "Memphis" about the situation with Kip. "Memphis" reluctantly decided to come out of retirement and met with Calitri and his gang. Under the threat of being killed and having his brother crushed before his eyes, he was forced to accept the deal:

Calitri: "You accept the job, you steal some cars, you make some money and you be a big brother."

"Memphis" agreed to steal 50 cars (before a deadline of 3 days - 72 hours - ending at Friday 8 AM when the cars were scheduled to be shipped to South America), and deliver them to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard's Pier 14 (to be immediately loaded into shipping containers), to repay the 'debt' owed to Calitri and fulfill the order. A digital countdown on the screen began to tick downward toward the deadline.

Almost immediately, "Memphis" had to avoid suspicious stakeout cops of the Governor's Regional Auto-Theft Bureau - the GRAB unit - Det. Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Det. Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant), who were on the lookout for him after the failed heist. They were alerted to his presence back in LA, and confronted him outside a diner where he had just spoken to his waitress mother Helen Raines (Grace Zabriskie). Seeking retribution for not putting "Memphis" away six years earlier, the obsessed Castlebeck warned "Memphis" to stay in line: "You make one slip, and I will put you away for good."

Afterwards, "Memphis" began to reassemble some of his former LA car-heist gang members for the job:

  • Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall), Raines' former mentor, now settled down as a auto-body shop owner
  • Donny Astricky (Chi McBride), a DMV employee and a frazzled driving school instructor at the Pleasure Cruise driving school, first seen in a car with an inept female Asian driver
  • The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones), a large-framed, brutish, but mute mortician
  • Sara "Sway" Wayland (Angelina Jolie), a tough, blonde-dreadlocked chick with tattoos, a daytime mechanic and night-time bartender; "Memphis'" ex-girlfriend (soon to be reunited)
Memphis' Ex LA Car-Heist Gang Members - Recruited to Rescue "Memphis"' Brother Kip From Retribution-Death by Crime Boss Calitri

Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall)

Donny Astricky (Chi McBride)

The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones)

Sara "Sway" Wayland (Angelina Jolie)

Otto was very skeptical when "Memphis" sought him at his auto-body shop and was back in town after many years. When asked, he gave his opinion of Calitri as "a jackal tearing out the soft belly of our fair town," and then asked: "Are you considering a come-back tour?" He became further worried that "Memphis" was after 50 cars in only three days, but then volunteered to help him recruit by phone whoever was interested and available.

After reacquainting himself with "Sway" at her day job, "Memphis" pursued her to her bar job, where she enticingly invited "Memphis" to have sex with her - with car references: "Do you wanna get a little crazy? There's a Cutlass 4-4-2 in the back. We could strip down and shine the hood. Whaddya say?" However, she said she couldn't help because she had cleaned herself up and wasn't "into the life anymore."

Otto's auto-body shop was used as the gang's HQs for the car job. Some of Kip's crew members - Tumbler (Scott Caan), Mirror Man (T.J. Cross), Freb (James Duval), and (Toby William Lee Scott) - were also recruited for the heist.

The night before the heist, in a memorable monologue, "Memphis" explained to his brother why he had chosen to "boost" (or sexually "pluck") the 'beauties' after their father died, and then why he quit the "easy money":

"I didn't do it for the money. I did it for the cars. Gleaming in Marina blue, Sunflower yellow, Marlboro red. Begging to be plucked. And I'd do it. I'd boost her - and just blast to Palm Springs, instantly feeling better about being me. And then the next day, it seems like, I'm getting shot at, my friends are dying, people are going to jail. I didn't like what I'd become."

Memphis' team began to stake out the various vehicles they had to steal in the next few days, including a variety of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, and other automobiles that were selected after the DMV database was hacked. The cars were code-named with female names, such as:

  • Madeline (1959 Cadillac Eldorado)
  • Carol (1999 Cadillac Escalade)
  • Stefanie (1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible)
  • Nadine (1967 Ferrari 275 GTB4)
  • Gina (1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30)
  • Samantha (1999 Mercedes-Benz S600)
  • Tina (1999 Porsche 996)
  • Eleanor (1967 Ford Shelby GT500) - a rare customized vehicle - and the final car on the list

The last car to be stolen was "Eleanor" - a vehicle that had given "Memphis" problems in his past.

In the film's most exciting chase sequence about 25 minutes before the film ended, "Memphis" was pursued through the city of Long Beach and into and then out of the South Harbor Shipyard by the police and the detectives.

At one point, an errant large compressed air tank flew through the air and caused considerable damage. "Memphis" evaded capture by avoiding a wrecking ball but a pursuing Jeep Cherokee directly behind him wasn't so lucky - the vehicle was side-impacted and was sent through a concrete wall, while the car trailing with the two detectives close behind also rear-ended the Cherokee. Det. Drycoff asked the battered cop: "Are you alright?...Are you sure? 'Cause you just went through a wall."

Afterwards with only about 4 minutes until the deadline, "Memphis" found that he was blocked by an accident on the Vincent Thomas Bridge. He was forced to rev up the "Eleanor" to speed the car onto a tow-truck ramp, and propel it into the air to the other side of the blockage.

Heading Toward Ramp on Blocked Vincent Thomas Bridge, Soaring Into Air,
and Coming Down Safely on the Other Side

He was able to deliver the battered "Eleanor" at the junkyard 12 minutes past the deadline, but Calitri rejected it ("I asked for 50 cars, not 49 1\2") and ordered his henchmen to kill "Memphis" and crush "Eleanor."

During the film's final cat-and-mouse pursuit in a Naval Yard warehouse involving "Memphis," Calitri, and the two detectives, "Memphis" saved Detective Castlebeck's life (who was being threatened at gunpoint) by kicking Calitri to his death off a catwalk railing. He fell backwards through layers of glass rafters and ironically landed in a coffin he had previously threatened to put Kip into. Castlebeck rewarded "Memphis" with letting him go free ("You saved my life, didn't you? So what am I gonna do?....Get outta here, Randall"), as "Memphis" informed him about the location of the container ship at Pier 14 with the 49 other 'boosted' automobiles.

At a BBQ celebrating their success, Sphinx unexpectedly spoke profound words in a soliloquy - with a British accent - reacting to "Sway" feeding the injured, youngest member of the team - Toby (William Lee Scott): "If his unpleasant wounding has in some way enlightened the rest of you as to the grim finish below the glossy veneer of criminal life and inspired you to change your ways, then his injuries carry with it an inherent nobility, and a supreme glory. We should all be so fortunate. You say poor Toby? I say poor us." The crew was so surprised that "Memphis" asked: "Hey man, I thought you were from Long Beach."

In the closing scene, "Memphis" and "Sway" drove off in Kip's and Otto's thank-you gift (presented with its keys in a small box) - an old, rusted-out and battered "heap" needing restoration that he also named 'Eleanor,' but it soon stalled and "Memphis" was heard saying (off-screen): "Oh, don't do this to me."

Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage)

Atley Jackson (Will Patton), Calitri's Associate

Raymond "The Carpenter" Calitri (Christopher Eccelston) - British Crime Boss, Woodworker and Car Dealer

Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi)

Det. Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo)

Det. Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant)

"Memphis" and His Memorable Monologue to Kip: "It did it for the cars"

"Memphis" Driving Eleavor to the Shipyard - With Detectives and Police in Pursuit

In Shipyard - A Wrecking Ball Destroyed a Wall and a Police Jeep Cherokee

Death of Calitri

The Sphinx' Sole Words Spoken in a British Accent at the End of the Film During a BBQ

"Memphis" and "Sway" Riding Off in Broken-Down "Heap" - Another 'Eleanor'


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