Before the Internet let everyone show off their illegal high-speed stunts, French director Claude Lelouch's 1976 short film C'était un Rendez‑Vous was the standard for movies depicting real-life automotive hooliganism. The movie shows a bumper-level view from a crossing Paris at ridiculous speeds and ends near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica where the driver meets a woman. Now, Ford is letting people experience the incredible ride by recreating parts of the route in virtual reality with a Mustang GT. The Blue Oval calls the clip Re-Rendez-Vous.
Unlike the original, Ford had all the necessary permissions to perform this run legally and safely. Advertising agency GTB, which created the new video, even worked with Lelouch to get things right. Unfortunately, some of the roads from the 1976 film don't exist anymore, so it's impossible to truly follow Lelouch's route. The Blue Oval does an admirable job of getting things right, though.
"I had goose bumps watching 'C'etait un Rendez-Vous' forty years later in virtual reality. At the time, my movie was about the feeling of freedom and the pleasure driving generates," Lelouch said.
If you aren't familiar with the original C'était un Rendez‑Vous, check it out below. The film still manages to communicate the thrill of high-speed driving better than many clips today. You clearly see the driver running red lights and blasting down tight alleys, and the fact that the whole thing is real makes the shots even more impressive.
The story behind the movie is equally fascinating. Lelouch drove his own Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 for the run and had a camera mounted to the bumper. During editing, he dubbed in the sound of a Ferrari V12 for additional drama. There's also a later clip below where Lelouch gets back behind the wheel of a 450 SEL and talks about shooting the film.