By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood August 12, 2011 at 8:46AM
An iconic set of wheels can be the perfect prop in a film: the right car reveals personality as well as a speedy cut to the chase. And jaw-dropping car design can add just the right tone--from the sexy masculinity of James Bond's Aston Martins and the fantasy futurism of the latest Bat vehicles to the adrenaline rush of the Formula 1 race-car documentary Senna.
Giving due credit to the key role of cars in films is the goal of the new Internet Movie Cars Database (IMCDb), which provides an obsessive repository for info on wheels in films. The IMCDb catalogs vehicles in nearly 24,000 feature films, shorts, TV shows, and documentaries.
The cars are rated by stars for the amount of screen time and plot orientation devoted to the model. A car will receive four stars if the vehicle stars in the role in the movie (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Italian Job, or Cars) and one star if it appears simply in the background.
Geared more towards compulsive documentation than analysis, the site is too excessively complex to be entirely useful. Drive at your own risk.