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Aside from a few pacing issues, Bullitt is a strong crime drama that stands the test of time. The famous car chase scene makes it worth watching all by itself, but Steve McQueen is cool, calm, and collected as Lieutenant Frank Bullitt, and the mystery keeps you guessing. If you're a fan of police procedurals, you should give Bullitt a shot.
Bullitt is an incredible film. It is about a San Francisco cop who becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection. Steve McQueen and Jacqueline Bisset give fantastic performances. The screenplay is well written. Peter Yates did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the action. Bullitt is a must see.
A riveting series of leads and chases.
Peter Yates' crime thriller Bullitt (1968) is a feast of interesting sequences. Yates finds his resolute style of directing to give Bullitt a steady pace into the extraordinary events of Bullitt. From an intricate murder plot of an eye witness to a blistering car chase sequence at high octane speeds. Bullitt delivers influential scenes of police following suspects all around San Francisco like The French Connection's tailing sequence or the burst of energy with Bullitt's car chase. Yates may even have inspired Heat's magnificent finale with Bullitt's suspenseful airport foot chase.
William A. Fraker's cinematography is stunning and inventive as wide shots encompass most of the shots so that we see every bit of motion of each car zooming past or each man running at breakneck speed. Everything in Bullitt looks real from the gunshots, surgery, murder, destruction, and panic. Yates was a phenomenally proficient director as Bullitt is a shining testament to filmmaking excellent.
Peter Yates' prowess as a creative director matches the intrigue of Lalo Schifrin's exhilarating jazz score for Bullitt. The song in the jazz club is such a soothing and energizing track just in the background. Schifrin goes all out with his compositions for Bullitt as his frenetic jazz sets the dark tone and blazing pace for the entire film. Bullitt's 113 minutes pass by in a blur of soft jazz to driving jazz symphonies thanks to Schifrin's sounds.
Steve McQueen is gripping as the ultra serious Lieutenant Frank Bullitt. His morose persona is intriguing as this man witnesses terrible crimes, but cannot bring himself to feel distraught anymore in his chosen career as a policeman. Bullitt is a kind of character study of this lone wolf detective desperately trying to bring justice to assassinations and corrupt criminals alike. I particularly appreciate McQueen's insane driving skills and intense running sequences, but his nuanced facial choices are riveting as well.
Robert Duvall, Don Gordon, Robert Vaughn, Simon Oakland, Felice Orlandi, Pat Renella, and Georg Stanford Brown all give compelling supporting performances in Bullitt. I rather enjoyed the silent assassin played by Paul Genge. Lastly, Jacqueline Bisset is sympathetic as Bullitt's wife Cathy who feels left out in the cold by Bullitt's frosty demeanor and distant emotional plane.
I recommend Bullitt for its fantastic action alone, besides the incredibly subtle acting and stellar direction.
A super, super stylish slab of police detective action, starring Steve McQueen, right at the height of his status as the coolest man in all of Hollywood. It certainly looks great. Bullitt's picture quality and directorial choices are astounding for a fifty-year-old film, with a heavy, lasting influence on modern action cornerstones. An ambitious opening credits sequence sets that tone early, creative and experimental and ahead of its time, while McQueen's essential wardrobe choices remain fashionable throughout.
Perhaps the film's most memorable, and oft-referenced, legacy is its climactic, screeching, white-knuckled muscle car chase through the streets of San Francisco. That scene alone is almost worth the price of admission, a ten-minute thrill ride with tangible mass, unpolished mistakes, curved steel and grim consequences. It almost, almost, polishes over the extra-slow pace, occasional stereotypes and confusing plot turns.
Still an entertaining watch, but often as nothing more than a simple, vivid document of everyday life in SF during the late 60s. There's barely enough substance in the police story to fill a twenty-minute network TV crime drama.
Best McQueen movie there ever was.
Watching the movie was painful: the plot is weak and sloppy (the professional killer who does not finish the job), the long hospital scene is desperately slow, McQueen's acting doesn't age well. Even the famous car chase in Frisco streets has a clumsy ending. Conclusion: one of these totally overrated « classics » (in the same vein, Dirty Harry is much better and still a great watch).
Outside of one impressive and gripping car chase, ‘Bullitt' is a gross case of riding on the star power of McQueen, who sadly cannot carry this picture, a picture which doesn't bother to invest in its characters. Instead, the film would much rather stare at an airplane landing and a photocopier printing someone's profile. Those are just a couple of padding scenes that take up much of the running time.
The film takes the crime out of crime-drama and becomes a total slog to sit through both before and after the chase scene, which by the way, doesn't come in until past the halfway mark.
Be warned as this one hasn't aged too well.
I heard so much about this movie, I could not wait to see it. I could have waited. Steve McQueen's acting, how others described as "cool", no offense, but I found it more wooden. The famous car chase, while exciting, was poorly edited. How many times does he pass up that same green Volkswagen?
Thereâ(TM)s a good car chase but apart from that itâ(TM)s a pretty standard cop slash mob thriller.
Without doubt one of my favourite all-time movies. Car chase aside. The slow burn to eventual climax is film directing at its very best.