Movie Review:Speed (1994)

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Speed 1994tt0111257.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Speed (1994)
  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 110,235 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 10 June 1994 (USA)
  • Runtime: 116 min
  • Filming Location: Ballerina Clown – 255 Main Street, Venice, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Budget: $25,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $350,448,145(Worldwide)
  • Director: Jan de Bont
  • Stars: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock
  • Original Music By: Mark Mancina   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS
  • Plot Keyword: Bus | Bomb | Explosive | Rescue | Elevator

Writing Credits By:

  • Graham Yost (written by)

Known Trivia

  • The film was originally written with the intention that Jeff Bridges would play Jack and Ellen DeGeneres would play Annie. DeGeneres was initially chosen because the role of Annie was going to be a comedic role opposite the serious role of Jack.
  • Various actors were offered the role of Jack and reportedly turned it down: George Clooney, Stephen Baldwin, William Baldwin, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Keaton, Tom Cruise, Jeff Bridges, and Tom Hanks.
  • Script doctor Joss Whedon rewrote the script uncredited.
  • The birds flying through the gap in the freeway were digitally added special effects.
  • The bus jump scene was done twice, as the bus landed too smoothly the first time. The bridge was actually there, but erased digitally.
  • Filmed on location on LA’s 105 freeway before it was opened to the public.
  • Paramount optioned the script first, in 1992, but did not proceed with it.
  • Voted one of AFI’s Top 100 Heart-Pounding Movies of all time: number 99.
  • Glenn Plummer’s driver’s license was taken away two days before his scene was scheduled to be filmed.
  • Keanu Reeves breaking the glass on the bus door in the beginning of the movie was an accident, however it was left in the final cut.

Goofs: Continuity: The bumper bar that the bus loses when swerving to avoid the garbage truck reappears on the bus.

Plot: A young cop must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph. Full summary »  »

Story: Bomber terrorist's elevator plan backfires, so he rigs a bomb to a LA city bus. The stipulation is: once armed, the bus must stay above 50 mph to keep from exploding. Also if LAPD Officer tries to unload any passengers off, Payne will detonate it. Joe Morton co-stars as Jack's superior, and Jeff Daniels supports Jack helping him try to defuse the bomb.Written by Kris Hopson  


Synopsis: In a downtown office building, an express elevator’s cables are blown, and 13 people are trapped inside. Los Angeles Police dispatch their men, including Officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and Detective Harry Temple (Jeff Daniels). Capt. McMahon (Joe Morton) briefs the men on the situation: bombs have already knocked out the main cables. The only thing keeping the elevator from dropping to the basement is the emergency brake. The bomber has wired this with explosives, and has given a one hour ultimatum: pay him $3.7 million, or he blows the emergency brake.

Both Jack and Harry use building access panels to examine the bomb, before Jack comes up with the idea to use a crane on the roof for window cleaning, as a way to hopefully help get the passengers off. However, once they have hooked the crane, the bomber blows the emergency breaks, and the elevator begins to plummet.

The crane manages to stop the elevator for a short time between two floors, where Harry and Jack manage to get the passengers unloaded before the crane pulls free of it’s base and the elevator plummets to the bottom. Harry notes that the explosion happened earlier than the time limit given, with Jack thinking the bomber must still be in the building. With the main elevators having been shut off, Jack assumes the bomber must be aboard a freight elevator in the building.

Harry and Jack find the freight elevator, where they encounter the bomber (Dennis Hopper). The bomber takes Harry hostage, and shows that he has wired himself with explosives. The bomber attempts to take Harry with him to the building’s parking garage, but Jack shoots Harry in the leg, preventing the bomber from taking Harry any further and causing the bomber to drop him. The bomber makes a dash out the door, but before Jack can get to him, the explosives go off, knocking him back.

Some time afterward, a commendation ceremony is held in which Jack and Harry are congratulated for their services. They go to a bar where they and their collegues celebrate their victory. An inebriated Harry tells Jack to be more cautious in his work because his recklessness could get him killed.

The next day, Jack stops into a small coffee shop for a drink. As he goes out to his car, a bus that had pulled away explodes and bursts into flames. A payphone nearby rings, and Jack is surprised to hear the bomber’s voice on the line. The bomber explains that he had spent 2 years planning the ‘elevator job,’ and chastises Jack for ruining his ‘life’s work.’ The bomber then goes on to explain that he has planted another bomb on a bus, with the bomb to be triggered if the bus goes over 50mph, and to be detonated automatically if it drops below 50mph. The bomber explains that if any passengers are removed from the bus, he will detonate it himself, and asks for a ransom of $3.7 million (the same amount he’d demanded during the elevator kidnapping) by 11am. The bomber also gives the bus number as 2525, and Jack takes off to catch up to it.

Jack manages to catch up to the bus on it’s route, but when he frantically tries to get the bus driver to open the doors, the driver takes ignores him, thinking it’s a prank. Jack then commandeers a Jaguar, and again catches up to the bus. After a mad struggle, Jack manages to relay to the driver that there is a bomb on the bus, and manages to board, jumping from the moving car into the bus’ door. Harry Temple is also alerted by Jack through the Jaguar owner’s cellular phone.

Jack attempts to calm the bus passengers, but an altercation with one man wielding a gun causes an incident to break out, and the bus driver is wounded. A young woman named Annie (Sandra Bullock) takes the wheel, and it is then that Jack explains about the bomb on the bus to the passengers. Jack opens an access panel in the bus floor, and finds the bomb. Relaying this to Harry, Harry is perplexed that the timer for the bomb is attached to a cheap gold watch. Harry’s suspicions turn to the prospect that their mad bomber may be a former officer, and he has his staff start looking over information about officers who have worked with bombs or on bomb squads.

Back on the bus, a traffic jam on the freeway causes Annie to divert the bus onto city streets instead. Eventually, a police escort and a LAPD helicopter with Capt. McMahon aboard guides the bus to the unfinished 105 freeway. Once on the freeway, McMahon and a number of officers board a flatbed truck that pulls up next to the bus. McMahon wants to get the people off, but Jack explains that the news copters in the air are televising the event, and that the bomber will detonate the bus if anyone gets off.

Jack soon receives a call from the bomber in regards to what is being seen on television. Jack manages to get the bomber to consider letting the wounded bus driver off, though the bomber tells Jack that ‘the wildcat behind the wheel’ is not to slow down. However, a passenger named Helen (Beth Grant) gets edgy, and attempts to get off the bus. As she stands over the entrance-way stairs of the bus, a smaller bomb goes off, the platform in the doorway is destroyed and she falls under the bus, being run over and killed.

McMahon is then informed that the 105 freeway is unfinished, and a stretch of roadway ahead contains a 50ft span that is missing. Jack is informed of this, but still refuses to take any passengers off. Jack then instructs Annie to increase the bus speed, figuring their may be an incline that will allow them to jump the bus over the gap. Miraculously, his plan works, and the bus makes it to the other side.

Once over, Jack finds an off-ramp that leads to the Los Angeles Airport. Annie takes it, and enters through an airport exit, causing some spikes to damage the bus’ tires. Jack’s plan is to keep the news copter cameras from following them. Because the airport is restricted airspace, they can’t fly over it. The long runways that are not in use will also allow the bus to circle and keep it out of civilian traffic.

Capt McMahon soon shows up at the airport with some more of the Police Department, and Jack gets off the bus onto a vehicle with the Captain. McMahon feels they should be able to unload the passengers safely, but Jack is still convinced that the bomber will know.

Jack is then put onto a small-wheeled dolly attached by a cable to a small truck and sent under the still-moving bus, hoping to dismantle the bomb. However, the mechanism is too complex, and Jack is unable to stop it. Harry has been giving Jack the information to try and dismantle the bomb, when his associates find the name of the bomber: Howard Payne, a former member of the Atlanta Police Department’s bomb squad. Harry and his associates rush off to apprehend Howard.

Jack soon comes close to death when the cable towing the dolly he’s on gives way, and he is almost run over by the bus. Jack clings to the undercarriage of the bus, but accidentally ruptures the fuel tank with a screwdriver. The passengers on the bus help Jack up through an access panel in the bus’ floor, and he survives. With leaking fuel a new problem, Jack calls for a fuel car to pace the bus and refuel them.

Meanwhile, Harry and some other members of the LAPD have staked out and entered Payne’s home. They soon find he is not there, but realize this too late, triggering a bomb planted in the house that kills those inside, including Harry.

After the bomb goes off, Howard calls Jack, and gloats over the death of Harry. Howard then gives Jack instructions to deliver the $3.7 million ransom to a garbage can at Pershing Square downtown. Jack is unsure what to do next, when he notices the sweatshirt Annie had been wearing, which contains the logo for the Arizona Wildcats. Payne had called Annie a "wildcat" before on the phone, and now Jack realizes that Payne has been monitoring the bus through the security camera above the bus driver’s seat. Though the camera can record video, it cannot record audio.

Jack radios over to Capt McMahon regarding his plan. McMahon gets all the news vans nearby to stop taping, and commandeers one to find the signal going into the bus camera. With everyone sitting still on the bus, the news team records them, gathering enough footage to run a video loop to fool Payne. However, Annie notes that the fuel is almost on empty, and McMahon is forced to have the tape loop with only a minute of footage having been recorded.

An airport bus is brought alongside bus 2525, and the passengers are unloaded. However, the tires that had been punctured once the bus went through the airport’s exits continue to loose their treads, and Annie and Jack are unable to get off. Jack affixes the steering wheel with some rope, and the two escape from under the bus using the access panel. The bus drives a ways off, before heading towards a cargo plane. As the speed drops below 50, the bus explodes, also destroying the cargo plane.

After the LAPD gets the passengers treated, they receive a call from Payne wanting to know about the money. McMahon is about to tell off Payne, but Jack realizes that Howard does not know the bus exploded, giving them the advantage to capture the madman.

A plan is made with the money placed in sacks, with paint bombs inside. A number of officers patrol Pershing Square, with Payne watching from an overhead building’s window. Payne thinks he’s won, until he notices the bus camera, and realizes that the tape is on a loop. Payne quickly puts on his uniform, and blending in with the other officers, walks over to Annie, and escorts her away from the scene.

Jack and a number of officers are watching the garbage can, but no one has appeared. Jack suddenly demands they turn on the homing beacon with the money…and all of them are surprised to see that the money is in motion! Jack rushes out to the garbage can, and finds that there is a hole in the bottom of it, leading down to a level below the street.

Jack finds an entrance to the area below street level, and is confronted with Annie strapped with explosives, and Payne standing nearby, holding a detonator. Payne chastises Jack a bit before making his way to the LA subway system, with Jack jumping aboard as it pulls away, crawling across the top.

Payne handcuffs Annie to a pole, and kills the subway driver. Payne the explains his plan to Annie: he intends to get off the train with the money, but leave her to explode, causing the police to think they both died on the subway.

Payne’s overzealous nature gets the better of him, as he hears Jack climbing on top of the train car. Playfully claiming he may be able to bribe Jack into letting him go, Payne reaches into the sack of money, only to set off the paint bomb, ruining the money.

Howard then climbs up the side of the train car on the outside, and goes hand-to-hand with Jack. As they fight, Jack notices a low-overhanging light approaching, and holds Payne’s head up while seizing the detonator to Annie’s bomb from Payne. The light decapitates Payne, and his body falls over the side of the car.

Jack then enters the car, and manages to get the explosives off Annie. However, he does not have the key to her handcuffs, and Howard’s killing of the train driver has rendered the brakes inoperable. A railmap shows Jack that there’s a sharp curve ahead. He speeds up the train with the intention of derailing it. The plan works and Annie is freed from the bar. The train barrels out of an incomplete stretch of track right in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. It n lands on it’s side and comes to a halt. Annie and Jack are both alive and as they embrace, a number of tourists and others whom the train has stopped traffic for, come over to look at the strange spectacle.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Ian Bryce known as executive producer
  • Mark Gordon known as producer
  • Allison Lyon Segan known as co-producer (as Allison Lyon)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Keanu Reeves known as Officer Jack Traven
  • Dennis Hopper known as Howard Payne
  • Sandra Bullock known as Annie Porter
  • Joe Morton known as Capt. McMahon
  • Jeff Daniels known as Det. Harold 'Harry' Temple
  • Alan Ruck known as Stephens
  • Glenn Plummer known as Jaguar Owner
  • Richard Lineback known as Norwood
  • Beth Grant known as Helen
  • Hawthorne James known as Sam
  • Carlos Carrasco known as Ortiz
  • David Kriegel known as Terry
  • Natsuko Ohama known as Mrs. Kamino
  • Daniel Villarreal known as Ray
  • Simone Gad known as Bus Passenger #1
  • Loretta Jean Crudup known as Bus Passenger #2
  • Sherri Villanueva known as Bus Passenger #3
  • Margaret Medina known as Robin
  • Jordan Lund known as Bagwell
  • Robert Mailhouse known as Young Executive
  • Patrick Fischler known as Friend of Executive
  • Patrick John Hurley known as CEO
  • Susan Barnes known as Female Executive
  • Rick Dano known as Swat Driver (as Richard Dano)
  • Michael Sottile known as Swat Cop
  • Jane Crawley known as Baby Carriage Woman #1
  • Anne O'Sullivan known as Baby Carriage Woman #2
  • Beau Starr known as Commissioner
  • John Capodice known as Bob
  • Thomas Rosales Jr. known as Vince (as Tommy Rosales Jr.)
  • James DuMont known as Workman
  • Antonio Mora known as News Anchor #1
  • Patty Toy known as News Anchor #2
  • Todd Gordon known as News Cameraman
  • Bruce Wright known as Reporter #1
  • Mark Kriski known as Reporter #2
  • Dagny Hultgreen known as Reporter #3
  • Richard Schiff known as Train Driver
  • Joseph Carberry known as Cop
  • Sandy Martin known as Bartender
  • Neisha Folkes-LeMelle known as Mrs. McMahon (as Neisha Folkes-LéMelle)
  • Jim Mapp known as Additional Bus Passenger #1
  • Milton Quon known as Additional Bus Passenger #2
  • Sonia Jackson known as Additional Bus Passenger #3
  • Carmen Williams known as Additional Bus Passenger #4
  • Paula Montes known as Additional Bus Passenger #5
  • Loyda Ramos known as Additional Bus Passenger #6
  • Julia Vera known as Additional Bus Passenger #7
  • Marylou Lim known as Additional Bus Passenger #8
  • Brian Grant known as Elevator Passenger #1 (as Brian K. Grant)
  • Barry Kramer known as Elevator Passenger #2
  • Robin McKee known as Elevator Passenger #3
  • Paige Goodman known as Elevator Passenger #4
  • Christina Fitzgerald known as Elevator Passenger #5
  • Tara Thomas known as Elevator Passenger #6
  • CeCe Tsou known as Elevator Passenger #7
  • Michael N. Fujimoto known as Elevator Passenger #8 (as Michael Fujimoto)
  • Richard Gelb known as Elevator Passenger #9
  • Randy Algoe known as Freeway Car Driver (uncredited)
  • Mark Gordon known as Reporter Waving Outside Airport Fence (uncredited)
  • Harry Hauss known as Helicopter Pilot #2 (uncredited)
  • Craig Hosking known as Helicopter Pilot #1 (uncredited)
  • Bunga Hosoi known as Jaguar Guy on Freeway (uncredited)
  • J. David Jones known as Helicopter Pilot #3 (uncredited)
  • Rana Morrison known as Lady in Coffee Shop (uncredited)
  • Christopher C. Murphy known as Man Looking at Subway After Crash (uncredited)
  • Robert Nassry known as Bartender #2 (uncredited)
  • Michael Tamburro known as Helicopter Pilot #4 (uncredited)
  • Scott Wilder known as SWAT Member #1 on Flatbed Truck (uncredited)
  • Eddie Yansick known as SWAT Member #2 on Flatbed Truck (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:

  • Pete Altobelli known as makeup artist
  • Gus Le Pre known as key hair stylist
  • Norman T. Leavitt known as key makeup artist (as Norman Leavitt)
  • Susan Zietlow-Maust known as hair stylist (as Susan Maust)

Art Department:

  • Gerald N. Best known as labor foreman
  • Michael R. Blaich known as paint foreman
  • Joseph L. Byrne known as set dresser
  • Rick Chavez known as assistant property master
  • Mark Davidson known as set dresser
  • Trish Gallaher Glenn known as property master (as Trisha B. Gallaher)
  • Rob Garlow known as propmaker foreman (as Robert Garlow)
  • Giacomo G. Ghiazza known as storyboard artist (as Giacomo Ghiazza)
  • John Hinkle known as stand-by painter (as John Dee Hinkle)
  • Kathleen Hughes known as assistant property master (as Kathleen Devlin Hughes)
  • Michael Kolko known as set estimator
  • Louis M. Mann known as set designer (as Louis Mann)
  • Douglas McKay known as key set dresser (as Douglas James McKay)
  • Michael Molen known as propmaker foreman
  • Daniel O'Brien known as tool foreman
  • Jim Ondrejko known as construction coordinator (as James J. Ondrejko)
  • Joe Ondrejko known as general foreman
  • Peter R. Romero known as set designer (as Peter Romero)
  • Jim Scolari known as set dresser
  • Wendy Smith known as art department coordinator (as Wendy A. Smith)
  • Stan Tropp known as set designer
  • Justin Walker known as labor foreman
  • Gaylene West known as on-set dresser
  • Kathleen R. White known as art department assistant (as Kathleen White)
  • Alan Burg known as set dresser (uncredited)
  • Cary Conway known as painter (uncredited)
  • Geoff Hubbard known as assistant art director (uncredited)
  • Marik 'Travis' Little known as leadman (uncredited)
  • Christopher Parker known as set dresser (uncredited)
  • Tim Stadler known as painter (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Other Companies:

  • BT Industrial Supply  expendables
  • Burman's Studio  special make-up effects (as The Burman Studio, Inc.)
  • C.A.S.T. Security  location security
  • Call The Cops  technical advisor
  • Central Casting  extras casting
  • Direct Tools & Fasteners  expendables
  • For Stars Catering  catering
  • Fox Records  soundtrack published by
  • McDonnell Douglas  notar helicopters
  • Media Ventures  music recorded and mixed at
  • Pacific Title  end titles
  • Pacific Title  opticals
  • Skywalker Sound  post-production services
  • Sony Studios  additional recording at
  • The Post Group Film Unit  post-production services (as The Film Unit @ The Post Group)
  • Video Hawks  video assist equipment


  • Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (1994) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Fox Network (1996) (USA) (TV) (broadcast premiere)
  • 20th Century Fox de Argentina (1994) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Films AB (1994) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Finnkino (1994) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • Fox Film (1994) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Spentzos Films (1994) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Svenska Filminstitutet (SFI) (1994) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (Brazil) (DVD)
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (Brazil) (VHS)
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (2004) (UK) (DVD)
  • 20th Century Fox Italia
  • 20th Century Fox (Far East)
  • 20th Century Fox of Germany (Germany)
  • Abril Vídeo (Brazil) (VHS)
  • Egmont Entertainment (2000) (Finland) (DVD) (1-disc edition)
  • FS Film Oy (2002) (Finland) (DVD) (2-disc edition)
  • Fox Video (USA) (VHS)
  • Gativideo (1994) (Argentina) (VHS)
  • Gativideo (2002) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Gativideo (2002) (Argentina) (VHS) (re-edited)
  • Home Video Hellas (HVH) (1995) (Greece) (video)
  • Mainostelevisio (MTV3) (1999) (2000) (2004) (2007) (Finland) (TV)
  • Manuel Salvador (Spain)
  • Oy Europa Vision AB (1995) (Finland) (VHS)
  • SF Video (1995) (Sweden) (VHS)
  • SubTV (2004) (Finland) (TV)
  • Svensk Filmindustri (SF) (2001) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Svensk Filmindustri (SF) (2002) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Svensk Filmindustri (SF) (2007) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Sessums Engineering (subway miniatures)
  • Grant McCune Design (elevator miniatures)
  • Praxis Film Works (wire removal)
  • Video Image (additional bus jump visual effects)
  • Alterian
  • Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) (special visual effects)
  • VIFX (additional bus jump visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Thomas Boland known as subway crew: SPI
  • Greg Bridges known as subway crew: SPI
  • Ron Brinkmann known as computer graphics supervisor: SPI
  • Scott Campbell known as subway crew: SPI
  • Cat Chapman known as previsualizor: main titles
  • Michael Condro known as subway crew: SPI
  • David Cornelius known as motion control programmer
  • Karen deJong known as computer graphics artist: SPI
  • David Douglas known as computer graphics artist: SPI
  • Frank Foster known as previsualizor: main titles
  • Julia Frey known as production coordinator: SPI (as Julia L. Rivas)
  • George Karl known as computer graphics artist: SPI
  • Stephen Kennedy known as computer graphics artist: SPI (as Steve Kennedy)
  • Fireball Tim Lawrence known as storyboard artist (as Tim Lawrence)
  • Andrea Lösch known as computer graphics artist: SPI
  • Jeff Matakovich known as photochemical compositor: Grant McCune Design
  • Gary Maxwell known as unit manager: Sessums Engineering (as Gary R. Maxwell)
  • Grant McCune known as supervisor: Grant McCune Design
  • Mickey McGovern known as producer: SPI
  • Mitch Rosenfelt known as computer graphics artist: SPI
  • Clark Schaffer known as chief model maker: Grant McCune Design
  • Robert Scifo known as computer graphics artist: SPI (as Bob Scifo)
  • Jack Sessums known as miniature designs engineer: Sessums
  • Boyd Shermis known as visual effects supervisor
  • Gary Simon known as subway crew: SPI
  • Smokey Stover known as head of design: Grant McCune Design
  • Kristen Trattner known as computer graphics artist: SPI (as Kristin Trattner)
  • Barry Walton known as subway crew: SPI
  • John N. Campbell known as digital artist (uncredited)
  • David Drzewiecki known as visual effects director of photography (uncredited)
  • Ivo Horvat known as matte painter: SPI (uncredited)
  • Rachel Nicoll known as digital artist (uncredited)
  • Derek N. Prusak known as visual effects assistant cameraman (uncredited)
  • Olivier Sarda known as digital artist (uncredited)
  • Paul Taglianetti known as video image coordinator: VIFX (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • Canada 10 June 1994
  • USA 10 June 1994
  • Argentina 16 June 1994
  • South Korea 25 June 1994
  • Australia 30 June 1994
  • Sweden 22 July 1994
  • Finland 5 August 1994
  • Spain 5 August 1994
  • Hungary 18 August 1994
  • Netherlands 18 August 1994
  • France 24 August 1994
  • Philippines 31 August 1994
  • Portugal 9 September 1994
  • UK 30 September 1994
  • Estonia 7 October 1994
  • Denmark 14 October 1994
  • Germany 20 October 1994
  • Japan 3 December 1994
  • Poland 31 December 1994
  • Canada 9 February 2010 (Digital Film Festival)

Followed or Connected by:

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Remade as

Speed in 60 Seconds (2008) (TV)

Edited into

The Making of 'Speed' (1994) (TV)
The Making of 'Speed 2: Cruise Control' (1997) (TV)
Epicenter (2000)


The Wages of Fear (1953)
 -  Action thriller about a vehicle that may explode if it is not driven in a certain way
"Gigantor" (1964)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Dark Star (1974)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Cannonball! (1976)
Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)
Sudden Impact (1983)
Runaway Train (1985)
Die Hard (1988)

Referenced in

"Family Matters: To Be or Not to Be: Part 1 (#6.1)" (1994)
 -  Harriette mentions that Speed is playing at the theater.
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: Code Name: Diamond Head (#7.8)" (1994)
 -  Tom (as a bus passes by): "'Speed,' starring Keanu Reeves"
From Beijing with Love (1994)
 -  Movie poster in mall
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Sinister Urge (#7.13)" (1994)
 -  Dr. Forrester finds a ticket stub for this movie among Frank's belongings.
"The Red Green Show: Men's Night on the Mountain (#5.1)" (1995)
 -  Edgar claims the bus exploding is not real, that when a bus explodes it doesn't create a big fireball
Behind the Scenes: Die Hard – With a Vengeance (1995) (TV)
"Friends: The One Where the Monkey Gets Away (#1.19)" (1995)
 -  Phoebe mentions a film where a bus is running too fast
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: Angels' Revenge (#7.22)" (1995)
 -  Crow: What do you do? Shoot the hostage.
"HBO First Look: Behind the Scenes: 'Die Hard: With a Vengeance' (#2.2)" (1995)
 -  mentioned once
Jury Duty (1995)
Privacy (1995)
 -  The films poster is emphasised in the beginning
Senior Trip (1995)
"The Oprah Winfrey Show: Summer Movie Reviews" (1996)
 -  An audience member's wrong answer to a trivia question.
Independence Day (1996)
 -  A car crashes through a billboard for the movie
Il giorno della prima di Close Up (1996)
 -  The movie is mentioned in a conversation
"Siskel & Ebert: Speed 2/Broken English/Ulee's Gold/Temptress Moon/Wedding Bell Blues" (1997)
 -  Mentioned in reference to the sequel.
"The Simpsons: The Springfield Files (#8.10)" (1997)
 -  Homer: I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."
Just Write (1997)
 -  Teen on last scene with tour bus says that this just like the bus in Speed.
"Caroline in the City: Caroline and the Wayward Husband (#2.25)" (1997)
 -  When Annie is about to shoot her scene with Shadoe Stevens, the director explains the situation – a bus raced through town because a bomb exploded if the bus went below 50mph. Annie is about to point out that this has been done before, but only gets as far as "Didn't Sandra Bullock do a little movie called 'Sp…'" when the writer and the director shut her up.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
Hacks (1997/I)
 -  referenced by Lisa Kudrow
"Seinfeld: The Serenity Now (#9.3)" (1997)
 -  Frank mentions watching a movie "with the girl from the bus"
Best Men (1997)
"Mad About You: Speed Baby (#6.3)" (1997)
 -  Title and scene with a taxi driver named Keanu.
Sammy the Screenplay (1997) (V)
 -  The lead character "Sammy the Screenplay" is described as 'Speed' meets 'Naked Lunch'.
Grand Theft Auto (1997) (VG)
 -  A side-mission involves driving a bus for a certain period of a time without going below a certain speed.
Armageddon (1998/I)
 -  Harry: "Relationships based on extreme circumstances rarely ever work,"
With Friends Like These… (1998)
"The X-Files: Drive (#6.2)" (1998)
 -  Referenced in dialogue.
Kill the Man (1999)
Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill (1999) (V)
"HBO First Look: The Haunting (#6.6)" (1999)
 -  mentioned once
"Action: Blowhard (#1.4)" (1999)
 -  Mentioned on Peter and Sandra's sex tape
Gun Shy (2000)
 -  Sandra Bullock boards a bus with the familiar 2525 serial number
Spider-Man (2000) (VG)
The Accidental Spy (2001)
 -  Scene of evacuating people from moving vehicle that will supposedly explode is stopped.
"The Simpsons: Bye Bye Nerdie (#12.16)" (2001)
 -  In the school bus, Milhouse says "This is like Speed 2, but on a bus instead of a boat". The joke here is because the original speed was on a bus, not a boat but Milhouse doesn't realise.
The Mummy Returns (2001)
World's Scariest Police Chases (2001) (VG)
"Family Guy: Lethal Weapons (#3.7)" (2001)
 -  Peter watches "Speed 3: Glacier of Doom" on TV.
Shawshank: The Redeeming Feature (2001) (TV)
 -  mentioned once
"Will & Grace: Cheatin' Trouble Blues (#4.18)" (2002)
 -  Karen tells Jack she's afraid of elevators and outlines the plot of 'Speed' as the reason.
"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Guilty! (#6.19)" (2002)
 -  When Sabrina is riding on the bus in this episode, she walks towards the front of the bus and the bus driver tells her "Hey, Sandra Bullock! Stay behind the yellow line!" – a reference to Sandra Bullock's character (Annie) in Speed, who rides on a bus and ends up driving it. Also, this quote is very similar to Sandra Bullock's words in the movie when she tells bus passenger Ortiz to get behind the yellow line.
Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) (TV)
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven (2002) (VG)
 -  In Free Ride Extreme there is one mission where you have to take a truck to a certain destination.The only problem is that you have to get the truck at 34 mph and if the truck goes less then 34 mph then it will explode. In the movie Speed the bus had to go more than 50mph or else it would explode
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) (VG)
 -  In a mission, you're not allowed to slow down until you defuse the bomb, otherwise it'll blow.
Die Another Day (2002)
"Andy Richter Controls the Universe: Final Fantasy (#2.11)" (2003)
 -  Mentioned by Andy
"Angel: Salvage (#4.13)" (2003)
 -  Angelus: The question is, what do you do hotshot? What do you do?
101 Biggest Celebrity Oops (2004) (TV)
 -  Actors turn down roles: Halle Berry – "Speed"
The Incredibles (2004)
 -  The shot of the RV's back wheels landing on the expressway mirrors the bus' wheels landing after the jump.
"Filmography: Keanu Reeves" (2005)
 -  Shows clips with Keanu Reeves.
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (2005) (VG)
 -  There is a challenge in Mercenaries titled "Speed!" and the mission involves getting in a bus and maintaining a certain speed. Also, in the mission description, the first line is "Pop quiz, hotshot!", referencing the line Howard Payne says to Jack Traven in Speed.
The Helix… Loaded (2005)
 -  Nuvo (Keanu character) talks about it
Confession (2005/I)
 -  in Luther's hidden DVD collection
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Killer (#6.14)" (2006)
 -  Brass and the bus driver discuss "Speed".
Pursuit Force (2006) (VG)
 -  In one of the missions you must board a bus and keep the speed up until all the passengers can dissembark.
"NCIS: Bait (#3.18)" (2006)
 -  Ziva suggests that Tony got the idea for the surveillance tape-loop from "Speed".
2006 MTV Movie Awards (2006) (TV)
 -  Referenced by Bullock and Reeves
"Richard & Judy: Episode dated 19 June 2006" (2006)
 -  The question to qualify for the game is who played the lead female character in Speed, then Richard talks about the film.
The Guardian (2006/I)
 -  when ben is teaching class, jake jokingly answers a question regarding hostage takeovers "shoot the hostage" refering to the movie speed
"Gilmore Girls: That's What You Get, Folks, for Makin' Whoopee (#7.2)" (2006)
 -  T.J. mentions the film, saying that it also describes Luke and Lorelai.
Unaccompanied Minors (2006)
 -  escape by looping footage
"The Winner: Broken Home (#1.3)" (2007)
 -  poster seen in video store
Crap Shoot: The Documentary (2007)
 -  Mentioned in film.
"Allemaal film: De gouden jaren (#1.3)" (2007)
 -  Jeroen Krabbé mentions this film
Baghead (2008)
 -  movie on shelf
The Eye (2008)
 -  Sydney says "there's a bomb on the bus!"
Bolt (2008)
 -  When Bolt threatens to drop Mittens from the overpass unless she tells him where Penny is, the bus from Speed (1994/I) (with 2525 on the roof) passes underneath.
The Day the Earth Stood Still: T4 Movie Special (2008) (TV)
 -  mentioned once
"Psych: Truer Lies (#3.14)" (2009)
 -  Shawn says to Ryan: "Let me guess. There's a bomb on a bus, and, if it goes below 50 miles per hour, the whole thing's gonna explode."
"Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1: Gene E. (#6.1)" (2009)
 -  Shake compares his screenplay to Speed
"The Rotten Tomatoes Show: Monsters vs Aliens/The Haunting in Connecticut/12 Rounds (#1.5)" (2009)
 -  Brett says that each 'Round' in 12 Rounds is a short sequel to the film Speed
"Saturday Night Live: Will Ferrell/Green Day (#34.22)" (2009)
 -  Mentioned by stand up comedian at funeral. Reference to screenwriter Graham Yost and movie mentioned by name.
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.173" (2009)
 -  Included in a $1,000 question
"Loose Women: Episode #13.223" (2009)
 -  The film is mentioned.
"Bollywood Hero: Episode #1.1" (2009)
 -  Title mentioned during Keanu Reeves' speech
"Psych: Shawn Has the Yips (#4.5)" (2009)
 -  Shawn says, "I'm starring in the elliptical version of 'Speed.'"
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.1" (2010)
 -  Jay says that the first movie was about a bus, but the third will be about a Toyota
"Tosh.0: Make It Snow Girl (#2.8)" (2010)
 -  Referenced in dialogue
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Million Dollar Movie Week 5 (#8.120)" (2010)
 -  Included in a $15,000 question
"Bad Movie Beatdown: The Specialist (#2.17)" (2010)
 -  other 1994 bomb movies are discussed
Life as We Know It (2010)
 -  While singing 'The Wheels of the bus go round and round', Messer improvises 'and then Keanu Reeves saves the bus'
"Shameful Sequels: Halloween 2 (#2.12)" (2010)
 -  "Oh look, it's that bloke from… Twister, was it? Speed?"
"Cougar Town: Walls (#2.15)" (2011)
 -  mentioned in dialogue
"Tosh.0: Leprechaun in Mobile (Investigation) (#3.21)" (2011)
 -  Mentioned in dialogue

Featured in

"HBO First Look: The Making of 'Speed' (#1.4)" (1994)
 -  clips
"Siskel & Ebert: Villains: So Bad, They're Good" (1995)
 -  Clips are shown.
AFI's 100 Years… 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001) (TV)
 -  This film is #99 on the list.
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Don't Say a Word (2001)
 -  Seen on TV.
"24: Day 3: 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. (#3.7)" (2003)
 -  Guard is watching it.
"I Love the '90s: 1994 (#1.5)" (2004)
 -  Footage from this film was edited into this mini-series.
Paparazzi (2004)
 -  There is footage from Speed in the movie. In the creditroll, right after the music-credits, you see that there is footage included from the movie Speed.
"Biography: Sandra Bullock: In the Driver's Seat" (2005)
 -  Clips from the movie are shown.
"20 to 1: Magnificent Movies (#3.14)" (2006)
 -  Some clips from this movie are shown when it is the subject of a segment.
"Shameful Sequels: Speed 2: Cruise Control (#1.9)" (2009)
 -  recapping the original
"The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.43" (2009)
 -  a clip is shown as part of a montage of Sandra Bullock's films to introduce her


The French Connection (1971)

Spoofed in

"The Critic: From Chunk to Hunk (#2.5)" (1995)
 -  Jay reviews Keanu Reeves in "Speed Reading"
"Animaniacs: A Hard Days Warner/Gimme a Break/Please Get a Life Foundation (#3.4)" (1995)
 -  Spoofed in the "Gimme a Break" segment
Spy Hard (1996)
"The Simpsons: Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-Annoyed-Grunt-cious (#8.13)" (1997)
 -  Bart pop quizzing Sherry Bobbins about if she catches him with a Playdude spoofs Dennis Hopper quizzing Keanu Reeves in Speed
Trojan War (1997)
Spice World (1997)
"Father Ted: Speed 3 (#3.3)" (1998)
 -  This episode spoofs the film "Speed".
Wild Wild West (1999)
Inspector Gadget (1999)
Chill Factor (1999)
 -  In this film, a canister needs to be kept under 50 degrees. In Speed, a bomb is sent off if it goes 50 mph.
"South Park: 4th Grade (#4.11)" (2000)
 -  Timmy's wheelchair is travelling at turbo speed and can't be stopped for fear of detonating explosives on it, spoofing the plot of this movie.
Juan & Ted: Wanted (2000)
 -  The Speed bus ride was spoofed.
Don't Die Too Hard! (2001)
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002)
101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (2003) (V)
I Downloaded a Ghost (2004) (TV)
 -  In the bus he's talking like Keanu Reeves and says: 'Do not go below 90'
"Top Gear: Episode #5.7" (2004)
 -  Jeremy mentions a car being rigged with explosives that explode when the car goes slower than 100 mph
"Robot Chicken: Operation Rich in Spirit (#1.17)" (2005)
 -  Keanu Reeves' same bland character in different movies
"Robot Chicken: Donkey Punch (#2.19)" (2006)
 -  "Speed 3"
"Family Guy: No Chris Left Behind (#5.16)" (2007)
 -  The subway train leaves the tracks and the subway station in the same way as the one in Speed
"MythBusters: Super Sized Myths! (#5.21)" (2007)
 -  Grant and Kari spoof Speed while in the school bus.

MPAA: Rated R for violence and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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10 Responses Review Speed (1994)

  1. "Speed" was a runaway success in 1994. It was a block-buster in every sense
    of the word and critically speaking, it is an excellent motion picture. The
    film deals with an LAPD swat officer (Keanu Reeves) who is playing a deadly
    game of cat-and-mouse with crazed ex-cop Dennis Hopper. After Reeves stops
    Hopper from blowing up a high-rise building, the next obstacle is a city
    bus. Hopper has rigged the bus to explode if the "speed" ever drops below
    50 miles per hour. Sandra Bullock, in her star-making role, plays an
    unlucky passenger who becomes the center of attention when she is forced to
    be the driver when the original navigator is accidently shot. The great
    thing about "Speed" is the fact that it never tries to be more than it is.
    It goes for non-stop action, thrills, chills, and spills. However, Dennis
    Hopper’s character is somewhat complex and his performance probably should
    have garnered him an Oscar nomination. A great film in spite of the fact it
    is from the action genre. 5 stars out of 5.

  2. Take Keanu Reeves as a cop willing to shoot hostages, Dennis Hopper as a
    crazed bomber, and the beautiful Sandra Bullock as a reckless, "substitute"
    bus driver, combine them, and what do you get? You get one of the smartest,
    most high-energy action films ever made. Be prepared to hold on for dear
    life after you watch this one. It will blow you away with plenty of
    violence, breathtaking explosions, and cliffhanger action sequences. A
    thrill ride! 4/4

  3. If ever there was a film I wished I had seen at the theater,this would
    be the one.It's a great combination of a well written story, great
    direction,and a great cast.It's one of those films that you want to
    like so much,and it does not disappoint.The only thing that bothered me
    about the film is perhaps is the insertion of ill timed corny remarks
    ("He lost his head"),and the ending could have been done better,but
    overall a great action film worth owning.

  4. Pop quiz, hot-shot – what’s the most exciting action movie you’ve ever seen
    with a bus in it?

    Right, the answer is "Speed" and if you’ve seen it then you’ll have to agree
    that there is more action in this one movie than any ten generic action
    flicks that have been released in the last ten years.

    A trend-setter the likes of "Die Hard", "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and
    "Lethal Weapon", "Speed"’s premise is simple – a bus is wired by a madman
    (Dennis Hopper) to blow up if it drops below 50 MPH. This is to give the
    cop (Keanu Reeves) who ruined his last effort a run for his money in trying
    to save the day. In the ensuing efforts, a woman (Sandra Bullock) is
    recruited to drive the bus and keep it over 50 MPH at all

    And for as deceivingly simple as it is, "Speed" pulls out all the stops by
    making every scene a nail-biter (the bomb discovery, Keanu getting aboard
    the bus, Sandra driving over an incomplete gap in a highway, etc. – the list
    is endless) and all the main characters (and a few of the supporting ones)
    are about as smart as your average movie-goer and have enough of these kinds
    of movies to figure out what the other guy’s move will be and act on it. I
    LOOOOVE movies like that.

    Keanu is far more heroic in this movie than he has been before (and since);
    Jeff Daniels is born to play best pal and does so with good-nature; Sandra
    is a delight to watch as well as hear – she has a voice you literally can
    wrap yourself up in; Hopper adds to his nutso roles with some droll lines
    that sound all the spicier delivered Hopper-style. Everyone is great and
    gives their all.

    The movie is all one long action set-piece, which is what the action fan
    expects when they plunk down their money then sit down with their popcorn.
    They get their money’s worth here and then some. "Speed" was obviously
    written by someone who loves action films as much as the action film fans
    that watch them. Good match-up.

    Nine stars for "Speed", and let’s hear it for the magic of surveillance

  5. Speed is one of my favorite action movies of all time, just a notch
    below contemporaries like Terminator 2 and Die Hard. The premise is so
    simple that it’s almost a parody of movie pitches (Homer Simpson’s line
    was "I saw this movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city,
    keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would
    explode! I think it was called ‘The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down’.").
    Fortunately this film came to be much better than the sum of its parts,
    and it’s deservedly remembered as one of the most entertaining films of
    the 90s.

    What distinguishes Speed is its humanity, due in no small part to the
    character of Annie (Sandra Bullock). The best example of this is the
    moment when Annie, while driving the bus, thinks she has struck a baby
    stroller. She becomes so distraught that she lets go of the steering
    wheel, never mind the fact that she is in charge of driving a
    bomb-laden bus through the L.A. suburbs. It’s one of several moments
    that draw us into the film by helping us identify with the characters,
    and it’s all the more elegant for its simplicity. This movie isn’t
    complex, but it doesn’t claim to be.

    There is a certain irony that Speed succeeds so well on a human level,
    since Jan de Bont is not generally considered an "actor’s director". He
    started as a cinematographer, and even when he talks about directing he
    discusses technical aspects and seldom mentions working with actors.
    Nowhere was this more evident than Speed 2, which pretty much killed
    his directorial career. Given that, it’s all the more remarkable what
    he pulled off in the original Speed, as everything seemed to come
    together for him.

    The overall performances really serve this picture well. Keanu is at
    his best (which is to say, mediocre), Sandra launched a career based on
    this movie, and Dennis Hopper did a wonderful job as the sardonic
    villain. Plus he has one of my favorite bad-guy lines of all time
    (Traven: "You’re crazy." Payne: "Poor people are crazy, Jack. I’m


  6. Enough action sequences for three movies. Sandra Bullock has the cuteness
    controls set on HIGH, and Keanu Reeves plays it straight, a lot like his
    part in "Point Break". Dennis Hopper is, of course, one of the most
    believably creepy movie villains in the business today. (See him in "Blue
    Velvet") OK, there were some physical impossibilities in the film, but
    c’mon, most action films have them. (I’ve driven buses before, and they will
    not do many of the things in this movie.) This movie kept my eyes glued to
    the screen throughout. Grade: B+

  7. ‘Speed’ has to be the ultimate action film, involving you in an intense
    experience from the opening credits until the smash-bang climax. Not only do
    Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock do top work, but Dennis Hopper makes the
    most compelling villain of the ’90s.

    It all starts with a revenge-driven extortionist letting authorities know he
    has planted a bomb on a bus. The catch is it will explode if the bus is
    driven at less than fifty miles an hour. The script races along with
    non-stop action and surprise twists, without ever giving the audience time
    to stop for breath. It’s a little too intense for its own good and could
    have used some lighter moments to give us a break!

    Taut and suspenseful, with excellent effects and gripping suspense that
    keeps you riveted. Some of the stunts seem too incredible to be believable
    but in a film of this kind you have to go with the flow. The stunt work
    itself is breathtaking and makes it easy to see why the film is one of the
    most highly rated action films of the ’90s.

  8. Speed was a revelation to me . All of a sudden I was on the edge of my seat
    pulling for the hero. Up until that time I always knew the guy with muscles
    was going to win no matter what. But Keanu made me want him to win , he got
    me involved with the story. He did the same in Matrix. The hero is once
    again exciting.

  9. One of the most explosive and epic action films is Speed! It stars
    Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton,Jeff Daniels,
    and Glenn Plummer! Reeves is really good. I like how his character is.
    Dennis Hopper is excellent! He’s funny, he’s mean, and he means
    business! Hopper was perfect in My opinion! Bullock was also very good.
    Plummer was also is funny and Morton and Daniels also perform good. The
    action is really great and you never know what to expect. The music by
    Mark Mancina is good and the direction by Jan de Bont is very good. I
    think that Speed is an excellent film which is always exciting! If you
    like the cast mentioned above and want to see Dennis Hopper in a great
    performance then I strongly recommend that you watch or even buy Speed

  10. Sheer adrenalin from beginning to end, Speed is one hell of an action film,
    but it is one that is both simple, yet deviously complex. First of all, the
    plot is well done. It really is. It sound good on paper and writer Graham
    Yost (with a little help from Joss Whedon) takes full advantage of what
    might happen when stuck on a bus that has to stay above fifty miles per hour
    in order to stop from blowing up due to a mad bomber. Every obstacle that
    Keanu and Sandra could possibly face arises; children crossing the road, a
    woman with a baby carriage, a traffic jam, a hard right turn and of course,
    a big huge gap on the road. Logic is not only stretched, but it is thrown
    out of a very high window, but when a film is this much fun why

    The script is very well set up, not only in terms of plot but in terms of
    structure. Each act has it’s own set piece. Act one features the elevator
    sequence. Act two, the biggest act of the film takes place on the bus while
    the third and final act takes place on the train (a controversial
    contribution from Whedon and one that Yost was very unhappy with). Of course
    none of this would work without a great director at the helm and Jan de Bont
    rises to the challenge. While his career after this has been hit and miss
    (critics have slated his work but audiences have been forthcoming), here he
    shows that he has learned from being a director of photography for Paul
    Verhoeven and John McTiernan with a visual prowess and a handling of action
    sequences that is superb. In fact a lot of the film recalls Die Hard with
    the suspense arising from a plot that is quite simple yet deviously more
    complex in its execution. The biggest surprise at the time was that Keanu
    Reeves does wonderfully well in the role of the hero, Jack Tavern. He is
    charming, yet tough and while he doesn’t really have to ‘act’ here, his
    performance is well done and he should be proud. Likewise Sandra Bullock in
    what is really her breakthrough role, even though it is her second major
    film after having been the female lead in Demolition Man. Her performance
    has all the hallmarks of her lovely girl next door act and her chemistry
    with Reeves works well. It is especially funny when he keeps calling her

    However the film is stolen from everyone’s favorite psychopath Dennis
    Hopper. Brilliantly evil as Howard Payne, Hopper clearly enjoys playing a
    bad guy who enjoy being a terrorist ("the whim of a mad man, I like it").
    While the role is not of the disturbing variety that Frank Booth is (this is
    a mainstream film after all), the role is great one and is instantly
    memorable, as is his death scene.

    If you have still to watch this film do. It is brilliant and is one of the
    best Hollywood action films of the nineties. Just don’t watch the abysmal

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