A red 2023 Cadillac XT4 is shown from the front at an angle.

How the Cadillac Has Been the Star of the Show for Over a Century

Since 1902, Cadillacs have been a staple in the automotive industry not just in America but around the world. For more than 120 years, Cadillac vehicles have offered the best performance, luxury, and style that has set the bar for all kinds of vehicles worldwide. Supplying some of the most iconic vehicles that almost seem to define the era in which they were released, it’s hard to say that Cadillac has ever truly missed throughout its history. Their newest SUV, the 2023 Cadillac XT4, looks as though it’s shaping up to continue that trend of excellence and innovation.

When reviewing all of the different models that Cadillac has produced over the years and their distinct style and luxury, it’s hard to deny that these vehicles are some of the most attractive ever to hit the market. So attractive, in fact, that they could be the star of their own movie. Well, there hasn’t been a movie about Cadillacs specifically yet, but over the years, Cadillacs of all kinds have certainly found their way onto the screen, whether it’s in TV shows or major motion pictures, the Cadillac lineup of vehicles over the years has certainly built up an impressive resume for itself. Let’s take a look at some of their contributions to television and film.

Stars of the Small Screen

Since the beginning of television, Cadillacs have been making appearances in some of America’s most popular and legendary TV shows, some of which are still running today. In every one of these vehicles’ appearances, their bold performance and stylish luxury are on full display for all the world to see, the obvious choice for demonstrating a character’s free spirit and refined taste. These appearances include some of America’s highest-praised dramas, such as The Sopranos, which featured a 2003 Cadillac Escalade as Tony Soprano’s preferred ride of choice. The inclusion of this vehicle subtly reinforced some of the character’s characteristics; a refined sense of style and intimidating power. It was used in the show’s final three seasons often, and no doubt turned heads for those on screen and watching at home.

But The Sopranos isn’t the only drama Cadillacs were appearing on. Models could also be seen in such television staples as Alias and One Tree Hill, helping to depict a character’s prestige and power, whether they were a hero or a villain. But these cars have appeared in much more than dramatic television over the years. Key comedic credits on Cadillac’s resume would be gut-busting television shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm which was the main subject of a two-part episode arc of the seventh season, as well as the ever-popular adult cartoon Family Guy, in which Cadillac vehicles make frequent appearances, both to aid in the show’s various cutaway jokes, as well as to serve as high-class background vehicles.

The Cadillac’s TV resume extends to appearances in some of the most popular shows of the last few years. In Netflix’s Stranger Things, five different Cadillacs have appeared throughout the wildly popular Sci-Fi show’s run, such as the 1971 Coupe DeVille, 1972 Sedan DeVille, 1976 Eldorado, 1978 Seville, and the 1984 Eldorado convertible. Every appearance displays Cadillac’s power and refinement throughout the years and certainly gives a fun overview of Cadillac’s evolution throughout the 70s and 80s.

Another wildly popular show in which multiple Cadillac models have appeared throughout its run would be another Netflix show, Ozark. Throughout its four seasons, four Cadillacs have appeared in this gritty drama as particularly unique characters, including the 1987 Deville funeral coach (a distinct character performance, to be sure), a 2000 Deville stretch limousine, the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe, and the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. Since 1999, Cadillac’s vehicles have built an impressive resume amongst themselves throughout their appearances in some of America’s most popular shows, likely giving many people the sense they had seen that Cadillac before when they ran into one of the aforementioned cars at the dealership.

Cadillac on the Silver Screen

Though the Cadillac’s long list of television appearances is impressive, to be sure, it is arguably outmatched by its list of big-screen film appearances, which date back to the golden age of Hollywood, making Cadillac vehicles veterans of the silver screen for over a century, appearing in what could arguably be some of the greatest films of all time.

Some more recent examples from the past 50 years include a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado convertible that broke Cadillac into the world of film in 1977’s Smokey the Bandit as a featured vehicle throughout the film’s many action sequences. With a bold, hot rod red exterior, it carved its own path on screen and showcased a different level of power. Key films in the 80s featured appearances from Cadillacs as well, such as the 1941 Series 62 that could be seen in Raging Bull and the three different Cadillacs that could be found in Robert DeNiro’s The King of Comedy, two of which were stretch limos, and the other being the 1980 Seville.

A standout appearance in the Cadillac brand’s film career would be in the iconic GoodFellas, in which a brown custom 1979 Seville served as the late Ray Liota’s character Henry Hill’s personal vehicle, with which he tore up the streets of Long Island. Additionally, a hot pink 1979 Coupe DeVille could also be seen in GoodFellas as the vehicle Johnny purchases for his wife, though fans of the film know how poorly that transaction turned out for him.

Cadillac’s film appearances didn’t slow in the following years, with vehicles appearing in classic films such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Driving Ms. Daisy, Ghostbusters (believe it or not, the Ectomobile is converted from a 1959 Cadillac ambulance!), The Matrix Reloaded, and many more. Returning to Cadillac’s SUVs, such as the 2023 Cadillac XT4 mentioned at the beginning, Cadillac’s SUVs have actually appeared in a variety of major films over the past five years. The 2017 Cadillac XT4 was busy in 2018 and 2019, as it could be seen in such blockbusters as 2018’s Ocean’s 8 and 2019’s Line of Duty, and both appearances showcase its rugged power and bold style.

From the Big Screen to the Road Ahead

When reviewing the list of appearances the Cadillac brand has made in film and TV throughout the past five decades, it is clear that the brand has certainly made a name for itself not only in the automotive industry but in other industries such as entertainment as well. Since the early 20th century, Cadillac vehicles have been utilized by TV and film directors alike to illustrate power and style. When looking at Cadillac’s long list of classic vehicles, it would seem that there truly is no better choice to serve as an example of these two tenets.

Cadillac has always been at the forefront of innovation and luxury, and this is clearly stated in Cadillac’s bold appearances on the screen. Looking at the future of Cadillac’s vehicles in the real world, it would appear that the 2023 Cadillac XT4 is shaping up to continue that tradition in its various features that outmatch any of its predecessors. Cadillac’s resume is impressive; from the vehicles of legendary gangsters to high-octane action cars, Cadillac’s acting range is quite something. All we can say about the 2023 XT4 is that we’re excited to see what parts it ends up playing down the line, and we’ll be the first in line at the theater or the first at home to view its starring screen roles.