- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
In light of TCM's proclaiming "Bullitt" to be one of the essentials, I think it's fair to ask if a film whose only claim to our interest is a technical achievement (the car chase, of course) can be considered great? My answer would be "no." By that standard "The Jazz Singer" and "Rope" would have to be accorded greatness status and clearly they should not. For a film to be great (or essential) it has to go beyond the purely technical and into the realm of powerful imagery, gripping story, and deep characterization and "Bullitt" falls way short on all three. Visually, if you compare this film to a true essential, "Vertigo," you can see how director Peter Yates' standard vision of San Francisco (the obligatory shots of cable cars and North Beach sleaze) pales beside Hitchcock's disturbing play of glaring sunlight and harsh shadows. The story of civic corruption could not be more commonplace (plus, we know from the get go that Robert Vaughan's politico is dirty, so there is zero surprise) and as for character development let's just say that Steve McQueen, in this film, takes the concept of cool to new levels of emotional catatonia. The scenes between him and his girlfriend (a lovely but empty Jackie Bisset) are so dull they're not even sexy. And while the car chase is still worth watching it, at best, gets this film a B minus. P.S. This is the only time I can think of where Robert Duval is utterly ordinary. Kinda sums up this film for me, actually.
He died too young
McQueen might have made a great Phillip Marlowe in SF. Wonder who the cast would be ...
You're never too old to learn
So I tried again to get my aforementioned sleepy friend Noreen to give Bullitt another try. She snidely said she wanted to watch something "with dialogue" on PBS. Being the sensitive guy that I am, I wanted to address her somewhat snarky critique about "dialogue". Now I have watched this film over and over again for almost a half century. I knew I loved the film but I never had to articulate a defense of the film. Initially I thought that maybe Noreen had a point. Most of the dialogue is incredibly dry and mundane. But upon further reflection I realized that the mundane dialogue is part of the brilliance of both the film and McQueen's performance. The real dialogue in the film is McQueen's interior dialogue. It is masterful, a pleasure to watch and what sets the film apart. So after all this time, it took someone who didn't appreciate or understand the film, to lead me to a greater appreciation and understanding of the film. And maybe that's just the magic of the movies.
Steve McQueen is the King of Cool.
best mcQueen ever!
- PaT O'Hare
He is cool, he is handsome, he is charismatic, he hates Robert Vaughn, and he does what he wants to when he wants to do it and nobody is his boss. He drives like a maniac, every woman wants him, his gaze is cold steel. Good old Steve. He will never die.
It's classic 1968, dark, moody, mistrustful and confused, but withstands the test of time. The best car chase scene to this day. As far as I know there are no special effects, only gaffes that make it more fun. Of course it's not everyone's cup of tea. My friend Noreen actually fell asleep during the car chase but I try to watch it every time it's on.
Nail Biting Intense
A very nail-biting, intense film. Great performances by all; and the editing is terrific. However, I'm always gripping the sofa or a pillow when watching the San Francisco car chase - I'm in awe in how did they ever film this scene.
- Eric A
**** The standard by which San Francisco cop movies will forever be judged.
thurston: Just watched this film for the umpteenth time and the hubcaps do indeed go flying in the car chase but they are the hubcaps from the Charger and not from McQueen's Mustang. I have always liked this film. There are enough twists and turns and decoy plots to satisfy anybody and, of course, it doesn't hurt to have McQueen as the star. The iconic car chase is worth the price of admission!
TCM BROADCAST VERSION? 1/13
I just saw the broadcast of Bullitt and it looked a bit different from when I first saw Bullit. I was nine years old, but I remember it to this day because I told my best friend, who's name was really was Jon Ross, that the film's bad guy had the same name. He played like a thug for the rest of the day.Tonight's version lacked the closeup strangulation scene by the real Jonny Ross as I remembered it to be pretty gross. Also I missed the 6 hubcaps flying off one of the cars. The Mustang had no hubcaps, but had beauty rings and center caps, so it must of been the Charger.Anybody else notice this editting. I thought TCM showed only original uncut versions?
This movie has the best car chase ever, goes without saying, and also has veryinteresting, under-appreciated musical score. The jazz band in when Bullit and JackieBissett are in the restaurant is also very groovy.
- Dashiell Barnes
At the time, this was one of the best police films ever. McQueen excels as the title character of a rouge cop who determines who killed his witness. The Oscar-winning film editing doesn't diminish the famous car chase scene, although by today's standards, that scene has lost some of it's power and the story is very predictable & dull. A film that will be best remembered for McQueen & the car chase scene. I give it a 3.5/5.
When i was 12 Yr's old i seen this movie with my parent's. it always bring's back good memorie's. the car chase is awesome. Enjoy it. Ah when movie's were movie's.
Prototype Car Chase Scene
- Bruce Reber
"Bullitt" (1968), starring Steve McQueen as tough loner San Francisco cop Frank Bullitt looking for syndicate killers, features the car chase scene that set the standard for every film that came after, i.e. "The French Connection" (1971) et al. I've heard that McQueen modeled it after a previous film he saw that director Peter Yates made (I think it was called "Robbery"). The scene starts as Bullitt gets into his 1968 green Ford Mustang fastback and spots the two bad guys in their 1968 Dodge Charger. For the first couple of minutes the bad guys are following Bullitt, but then the Charger driver sees the Mustang in his rear view mirror, and now Bullitt is following them. The the chase starts when the Charger peels out burning rubber, and the two cars are in a high-speed edge-of-your seat chase through the streets and up and down the hills of San Francisco. One of the hitmen tries to nail Bullitt with a shotgun, but he runs them off the road and into a gasoline storage tank, with the Charger and the bad guys exploding in a ball of fire, and Bullitt's Mustang with many dents and a broken front axle. An effort should be made to locate the Bullitt Mustang (I heard that it's been sitting in a barn in New Jersey for a long time) and restore it to the condition it was in when McQueen drove it in the film.It should be put on permanent display in the Hollywood Car Museum that has cars from film and TV. The 1968 Highland Green Mustang fastback is truly a piece of film history.
- Jay Higgins
Very exciting action thriller and it has one of the best car chase scenes ever filmed. The editing is among the best ever. Suspenseful, good job by Steve McQueen.