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Is Gone In 60 Seconds Based On A True Story?

An epic Jerry Bruckheimer production in the tradition of fellow Nicolas Cage-starring action films like "The Rock" and "National Treasure," "Gone in 60 Seconds" stars Cage as Randall "Memphis" Raines, a former carjacker who has turned straight in recent years. But when his brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) is threatened by a ruthless gangster, Memphis has to pull off the impossible task of stealing 50 cars within 72 hours or else Kip's life is forfeit. 

Getting his old crew back together, including Robert Duvall as Otto Halliwell, Angelina Jolie as Sara "Sway" Wayland, and Vinnie Jones as Sphinx, Raines plans to nab all of the cars in a single night, as two police detectives named Roland Castlebeck and Drycoff (Delroy Lindo and Timothy Olyphant) build a case against him. Directed by Dominic Sena, "Gone in 60 Seconds" got poor reviews from critics but cleaned up at the box office (via Box Office Mojo), even if complicated Hollywood accounting meant that the film was officially written up as a loss for the studio. Despite that, it's well-remembered as a fun and action-packed cable and network television mainstay. 

But is the Cage-led action film "Gone in 60 Seconds" based on a true story or specific incident? Here's where the film really comes from.

Gone in 60 Seconds starring Nicolas Cage is a loose remake of a 1974 film

The 2000 film "Gone in 60 Seconds" starring Nicolas Cage is a loose remake of the 1974 H.B. Halicki film of the same name, though neither film is based on any specific incident. In fact, the original movie reportedly didn't even have an official script, as the independent production instead used improvised dialogue. 1974's "Gone in 60 Seconds" was, however, greatly inspired by Halicki's love of cars and a few auto theft charges that were eventually dropped (via Hagerty).

To save money, most of the actors and professionals on the set of "Gone in 60 Seconds" were actually family and friends of Halicki, a junkyard owner already known for his collection of antique automobiles (via Street Muscle Mag). When Halicki began production on the film in 1973, he not only wrote, directed, produced, starred, and did stunt work for the movie, but he also supplied most of the cars stolen as part of the plot. A total of 127 automobiles were destroyed during production, but the movie's lengthy car chases made it a cult hit for the amateur director, grossing $40 million on a very low budget (via Chronicle).

Sadly, Halicki was killed while filming a stunt for "Gone in 60 Seconds 2" in 1989, but his legacy as an action filmmaker and car enthusiast endures through the original 1974 film and its remake. You can currently stream both versions of "Gone in 60 Seconds" film on Tubi.