In France, the year 1936 has gone down in history as the first summer in which it was possible to enjoy paid vacations. For the first time, traveling for leisure ceased to be the heritage of a few to become a reality for the popular classes, giving rise to phenomena such as mass tourism. As a result of this summer beach fever, one of the first ‘road movies’ in history arose: ‘Prends la Route’, premiered in Spain as ‘La Traviesa Juventud’. In this film by the prolific director Jean Boyer, the leading couple began a journey full of entanglements, confusions and adventures behind the wheel of a spectacular convertible Peugeot 301 CR Roadster, a sporty and elegant car, ideal for seduction.
Peugeot has been present in the great trends of French cinema for almost a century. Born in Hollywood, the film noir had a great influence in France, where tapes as interesting as ‘Only a witness’ (Un témoin dans la ville, 1959) were produced, in which Lambert, a taxi driver behind the wheel of a Peugeot 403, is the only person who knows the culprit of the murder, out of jealousy , of a rich industrialist. Revenge and suspense from director Édouard Molinaro.
Intrigue, arms trafficking and ingredients of ‘road movies’ come together in a ‘Nouvelle Vague’ classic: Pierrot, the madman (1965). Directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, this true classic starred the elegant Peugeot 404 on a fugitive couple’s journey from Paris to the Mediterranean coast, on the run from a gang of hit men.
The characteristic comedy of manners of our neighbors has also had the presence of Peugeot. Two good classic examples are ‘Heureux Anniversaire’ (1962), which narrates the misadventures of a husband looking for the perfect gift for his wife touring the city in his Peugeot 203, and ‘La Communale’ (1965), where a rural teacher revolutionizes the quiet life of his town by buying a Peugeot 301.
The Lion has also made the leap to Hollywood in previous series and movies, such as Colombo (1968), starring Peter Falk, who always solved crimes at the wheel of a Peugeot 403 Cabrio in a pitiful state of conservation and operation, in the purest style of the Los Angeles lieutenant. And even the well-known James Bond, in the movie ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (1981) drove a mythical Peugeot 504, whose objective was to recover a secret military device before it was sold.
In more recent times, a budding French director named Luc Besson surprised all viewers internationally with a film that became a cult following for fans of action movies: ‘Taxi’. On that occasion, a very special taxi driver from the city of Marseille, played by Samy Naceri, equipped the Peugeot 406 as if it were a spaceship and dodged cars through the winding streets of the French city. A success that has given rise to several sequels, always with the 406 as the big star.
But this is not Peugeot’s first foray into action cinema, as director and producer Luc Besson has always had the lion’s mark in mind in his films. Blockbusters like ‘Transporter’ (2002), ‘Revenge’ (2008), ‘Lucy’ (2014) or ‘Three Days to Kill’ (2014) have made such famous actors and actresses as Jason Statham, Liam Neeson, Scarlett Johansson or Kevin Costner have driven models like the Peugeot 607, the 2008, the RCZ or the 308, among others, in fast-paced chases.
But not only the great French filmmaker has counted on Peugeot as another protagonist for his films. Harrison Ford, characterized as Dr. Richard Walken, drove a Peugeot 604 with his wife through Paris, reliving their honeymoon until the latter mysteriously disappeared in Roman Polanski’s ‘Frenzy’ (1988).
Another great scene of action and chases with a Peugeot as the protagonist happens in the film ‘Ronin’ (1998), with an exceptional cast in which Robert de Niro and Jean Reno stand out, in which the good guys, mounted on a 406, They chase the bad guys at full speed through various European cities. In this film you can also see other models such as the Peugeot 306, the 405, the Partner and the 205.
Lately, the surprising ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (2017) shows a very special Peugeot, since it is a hybrid between a motorcycle and a futuristic car that the protagonist of the film, Ryan Gosling, chooses as a vehicle to move around the apocalyptic environment that draws the remake of the great film directed by Ridley Scott in 1982.
In other cinematography, the Peugeot 604 starred in one of the last films of Yugoslav nationality ‘204-272’. Peugeot is also present in the pilgrimage to Mecca of the Franco-Moroccan ‘Le Grand Voyage’ (2004), aboard the Peugeot 405 or the Iranian ‘The Sun shines the same for Everyone’ (2006), where a family begins a journey in a Peugeot 405 Estate in search of a miracle that would cure his seriously ill father.
In our cinema Peugeot has also enjoyed important roles. The elegance of Arturo Fernández rivaled that of the Peugeot 404 in ‘El Relicario’ (1970), co-starring Carmen Sevilla, while in ‘Torrente 3: el protector’ (2005) a hilarious chase with Jesulín de Ubrique and Santiago Segura himself he blew up several ‘205s and Partners.
The brand has also adapted to new audiovisual platforms and its presence is common in various successful Spanish series in recent times. For example, in ‘Las Chicas del Cable’ you can see both the unmistakable front end of the Peugeot 402 and the luxurious silhouette of the 601.