Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator puts us behind the steering wheel with Bullitt.
Here’s what happens: Lt. Frank Bullitt is a San Francisco cop helping protect a witness in a high-profile case. The witness is killed, kicking Bullitt off on a city-wide chase to track down the perpetrators.
Why it’s famous: Steve McQueen as a modern-day tough guy, and San Francisco seen through the eyes of… who am I kidding? Of course it’s all about the car chase.
Get your film degree: And what a car chase! We’re speeding up and down hills, careening around corners, and even making it outside of the city (this was before California’s famous urban sprawl, I guess) for the big finish. The entire chase plays with no music or dialogue — the only sound is the cars’ roaring engines, making the perfect soundtrack for such a big action scene.
Movie geekishness: Did anyone else feel like you were watching Bullitt 2? We’re told our hero is a celebrity cop with big connections, but we’re not really shown this. It’s as if a lot of the character development occurred before the movie began.
Thoughts upon this viewing: I’m torn. I like a lot about the movie, but there are some stretches where it gets dull. The finale, with Bullitt sneaking around an airport, goes on way too long. McQueen nonetheless owns the role. And the car chase. Always, always the car chase.
Next week: Nice shades.
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