Sunday, October 17, 2010

Movie Sunday: Bullitt

Image from here.

If you've watched more than two movies with me, you have probably heard me complain about what I consider self-indulgent directors creating films that are much longer than they need to be. One or two people have probably heard it many more times than they should have to.*  I heard a rumor somewhere that it started with studios wanting to fill videotapes or something, but whatever. The end result is action scenes that go on far longer than they should, and stories that meander off and sometimes never return.

If you want to see a great example of old school cop drama movie-making, watch Bullitt. It's the movie that sealed Steve McQueen's reputation as a badass, and contains what is still one of the best movie car chases I've ever seen. No music. No explosions or driving on the sidewalk. Just two cars hauling ass through San Francisco. It made enough of an impact at the time that a number of urban myths grew up around the scene, and the movie.

You will probably be surprised at how simple the story and effects are, and how quickly it seems to be over. I was, when I watched it again recently.

* Sorry, Biscuit.


  1. Oh, gawd. One of the best action movies ever -- you mentioned the iconic, classic car chase. Being a dude it has no doubt escaped your attention that Steve McQueen was one of the sexiest actors burning up celluoid at that time -- I will forever prefer the original Thomas Crown Affair -- I wanted that sky-glider, polo-playing, dune-buggy-riding man soooooooo baddddddd..........

  2. I love Bullit myself, despite holding it personally and single-handedly responsible for the fact that 99.99% of all movies made since contain at least one chase sequence. There are movies that seem to be ALL chase sequence. None of them (the chases) are as good as the original, in fact I tend to use them as pit-stop opportunities .

  3. Honestly, I love Bullitt. I do. I have the poster in my bedroom, because apparently I'm an eighteen year old dude.

    But it's my third favorite car chase, behind Death Proof and Ronin, which yes, I know, are both heavily influenced by Bullitt. Still.

  4. so glad you stopped by my blog!!

    That show came out I believe in 1968....and ya know what. I used to "usher" at a theatre in Calgary Alberta Canada then....yes that was BACK IN THE DAY when ushers had little flashlights and showed you to your seats, and I wore a little brown theatre uniform, and wore TONS of TABU perfume
    WOW.........that ages me.
    and yes, it was a great show. I saw it like 100 times, cause, .....I was ushering

    and I WONDER WYE mentioned she loved Thomas Crown Affair.........same thing, I was ushering.
    I had the hots for Steve