20 Things You Probably Missed In Speed

Speed is a far smarter movie than it gets credit for.

Speed movie
20th Century Fox

1994's Speed is inarguably one of the most iconic, exciting, and impressively crafted action films of its era.

With the firm directorial hand of cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Jan de Bont, a killer acting trio in Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Dennis Hopper, and an all-timer concept, Speed really does have it all.

Yet the efficiency of its bomb-on-bus premise might fool some into believing that Speed is a mere surface-level film, where what you see is exactly what you get.

But that's far from the truth - Speed is awash in blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments which show how deceptively smart it truly is, both as a piece of storytelling and a work of stunning technical filmmaking.

If you're much of an action fan, you've probably seen Speed innumerable times over the last near-30 years, but as this piece will confirm, there's still so much left to be uncovered.

By the end of this list, you should have a newfound appreciation for the mind-boggling effort that went into executing the high-octane action, while also delivering a satisfying story with memorable characters.

Above all else, you'll never quite watch Speed the same way again, and mostly for the better...

20. The Elevator Shaft In The Opening Titles Is A Miniature

Speed movie

Who can forget the movie's iconic opening titles, where we travel down a soon-to-be-tampered-with elevator shaft while Mark Mancina's pulse-racing musical score blares out?

Though you'd be forgiven for assuming that director Jan de Bont just... did it for real, by rigging up a camera and passing it down the elevator shaft, this actually wasn't the case at all.

The sequence was achieved with use of elaborate miniatures: de Bont had the production build a 35-foot miniature of the shaft, which was then laid horizontally as the camera dollied along it.

This is especially impressive considering that the shot ends with the camera dollying away from the shaft towards the maintenance entrance, which is presumably also part of the miniature.

De Bont is a huge fan of practical filmmaking wherever possible, so it certainly follows that he'd rather "go miniature" than resort to CGI if it wasn't possible to use a real elevator shaft.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.