Important: The film described below is available on DVD at quite a reasonable price compared to the VHS dubs that have been going around for years. Also, be sure to see the updates at the bottom of this blog entry for the truth about the film.
On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris. The film was limited for technical reasons to 10 minutes; the course was from Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre, to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur.
No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit.
The driver completed the course in about 9 minutes, reaching nearly 140 MPH in some stretches. The footage reveals him running real red lights, nearly hitting real pedestrians, and driving the wrong way up real one-way streets.
Upon showing the film in public for the first time, Lelouch was arrested. He has never revealed the identity of the driver, and the film went underground until a DVD release a few years ago.
Now, thanks to the miracle of the Internets, you can watch it in your browser.
Update: It's been posted to the MetaFilter front page and the original server where the video is hosted (not mine) has apparently taken it offline. Here's a torrent posted on the MetaFilter thread by Civil_Disobedient. You can also watch it at Castpost or get it from one of the mirrors put up by Something Awful users (1 2) or the Coral cache.
Update the Second: The MetaFilter thread raises the possibility that the car was not actually a Ferrari but Lelouch's own Mercedes (the audio from the Ferrari would have been overdubbed) and that Lelouch himself was the driver, but was only given a ticket, not arrested. Also there's the tantalizing tidbit that the only lookout was a confederate posted at the Louvre with a walkie-talkie -- which afterward turned out to be broken. One poster in the Something Awful thread claims Lelouch admitted to being the driver (years later) and although he was given a ticket, the mayor of Paris tore it up. Another poster claims it was actually shot on a motorcycle. What are the real facts? The urban legends surrounding the film are nearly as interesting as the film itself.
Update the Third: An interview with the film's DVD distributor Rich Symons seems to settle the issue of who the driver was once and for all: it was Lelouch. According to IMDB, Lelouch was driving his own Mercedes and the sound was dubbed later. Apparently the film is now being used as the music video for Snow Patrol's song, "Open Your Eyes."