Oldie But a Goodie: The Hire, aka The BMW Films

Go Clive, Go!

In 2001, fresh off of two decades of kicking ass, BMW commissioned a series of films featuring its cars and a semi-unheard of British dude named Clive Owen. Years before people outside the WHO could get a job title including the word “viral”, these went viral in a big way. For you young’ns out there, we should point out this was long before youtube and myfacebookspacepages, meaning we had to download these things overnight as quicktime files, then spend half an hour making the audio work right. With our hard drives filled, we took in the greatness.
After the jump, we’ve got all of them queued up for your viewing pleasure.

All eight are on a playlist in this one embed, for your Friday afternoon productivity killing convenience.
The story behind their removal from distribution is an interesting case study in complications in rights management for digital content. More from Wikipedia.

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17 responses to “Oldie But a Goodie: The Hire, aka The BMW Films”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    I remember going to a BMW test drive event in 2001 and stocking up on these DVDs. BMW was giving them away free. I sold them on ebay for $10-$20 each. I was unemployed at the time.
    The best one is the one with Madonna.

    1. lilwillie Avatar

      My personal favorites were Madonna and James Brown. It was cool when they came out I had just scored and started fixing up the 320i so my love of Bimmers only grew watching these films.

  2. Maymar Avatar

    Song 2 by Blur came on the radio today, and I immediately thought of this – I haven't watched any of them recently, but should. I had a copy of the DVD somewhere, but I know I lost it.

  3. rennsport964 Avatar

    I actually bought the DVD from BMW and I still have it somewhere. There are a lot of goodies, such as "Beat the Devil" with James Brown and Gary Oldman (and a cameo of Marilyn Manson), directed by Tony Scott. But the funniest one is "Star" starring Madonna and directed by Guy Ritchie. Bonus use of Blur's "Song 2" during the chase scene, which is pretty much the entire movie.
    Winner. Joe Bob says check it out.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      I let someone borrow it…

      MOTHER FUCKER… I miss that DVD.

  4. Alff Avatar

    I remember when BMWs used to be nice looking cars. That was awesome.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      I feel sorry for all the kids that think that Bangle Butts are sexy. My friend just leased a 335xi. I really like the car in principle, but I just cannot get beyond the aesthetics. Call me Superficial Muthalovin if you must, but I simply do not care for any current BImmers (aside from the X6 M, which is just obscene).

  5. Cynicist Avatar

    I think they look better than they have in years. The problem is now that they're going to front-wheel-drives.

  6. muthalovin Avatar

    This guy… This is the guy that turned those sexy, sexxxxxxy cars into, well, into, goddamn, into something that I no longer care for.
    <img src="http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/06/in_25/image/c_bangle_bmw.jpg"&gt;

    1. dr zero Avatar

      There's something about really mis-matching hair and beard colours that makes me not want to trust folk. I just wish the board of BMW had my prejudices.

  7. Syrax Avatar

    I said it for the Facebookians and I'll say it again. E92 M3 is E39's true successor.
    <img src="http://static.blogo.it/autoblog/bmw-m3-sedan-facelift/BmwM3sedanfacelift.jpg"/&gt;
    It doesn't even look as Bangled as the others. IMO the 3er was the one that escaped the '00 ugliness altogether. I think it's because he had little input in the E46.

  8. DeadinSideInc Avatar

    I remember trying to download these on dial up when they first came out c.2000 – never worked well.
    I still have a CD of all the episodes, save "the follow" , that I dl'd and burned the moment I got high speed. These are and were effing amazing films, both the series of them.
    IIRC there was a contest involved that had other companion videos giving you clues as to what was going on and offering some BMW as a prize.

  9. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    "Star" with the M5 has always been my favorite.

  10. seoultrain Avatar

    Star is also my favorite due to replay value, but "Ticker" with Don Cheadle is another must-watch.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Ticker is good…
      Star is awesome…
      What is the name of the James Brown one? That one is also awesome… hell, they are all good.

  11. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I own the DVD. Betcha didn't know BMW was selling it on their website for $3 shipped!
    Its even got a special features section with behind the scenes, actor/director interviews, how they set up some of the car chases, etc.
    Star is great, Ticker is great, Beat the Devil is funny but I think my favorite is the one directed by Ang Lee; the title escapes me at the moment. Powder Keg with the X5 was imo the least interesting.

  12. Adley Moore Avatar

    great post as usual!