Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 ... See full summary »
Lee H. Katzin
High profile San Francisco Police Lieutenant Frank Bullitt is asked personally by ambitious Walter Chalmers, who is in town to hold a US Senate subcommittee hearing on organized crime, to guard Johnny Ross, a Chicago based mobster who is about to turn evidence against the organization at the hearing. Chalmers wants Ross' safety at all cost, or else Bullitt will pay the consequences. Bullitt and his team of Sergeant Delgetti and Detective Carl Stanton have Ross in protective custody for 48 hours over the weekend until Ross provides his testimony that upcoming Monday. Bullitt's immediate superior, Captain Samuel Bennet, gives Bullitt full authority to lead the case, no questions asked for any move Bullitt makes. When an incident occurs early during their watch, Bullitt is certain that Ross and/or Chalmers are not telling them the full story to protect Ross properly. Without telling Bennet or an incensed Chalmers, Bullitt clandestinely moves Ross while he tries to find out who is after ...Written by
Cathy (Jacqueline Bisset) is shown working in an architectural studio with a model of a modernistic and angular fountain her character has designed. This is an actual model of a sculpture titled "Quebec libre!" by Canadian sculptor Armand Vaillancourt. The monumental fountain was being studied at the time the film was being made. The fountain was built and completed three years later in 1971, not in black as the model shows, but in natural gray concrete. It may be seen today at the Embarcadero Center in downtown San Francisco, across the street from the Ferry Building. See more »
In the scene at Enrico's restaurant, a policeman with a walkie-talkie doing crowd control is visible through doorway. See more »
Look, Chalmers, let's understand each other... I don't like you.
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During the car chase, when the Charger goes wide on a corner and hits a camera, the film was salvaged and red frames added at the end, to give a "point of impact" impression. Despite this gag being in situ for decades, on the current Cinemax Asia print, someone has seen fit to completely remove these last frames of the shot. See more »
This movie is a great example of how style can prevail over substance in a film. The story is straight-forward enough, but nothing outstanding - Det. Bullitt is assigned to protect a witness who will testify against the mob. He must protect him for about 40 hours, but somehow, hitmen discover the location of the witness and gun him down before he can testify. Then Bullitt must find the hitmen, as well as deal with an identity twist concerning the witness.
However, the music score, tight direction, the car chase, McQueen's performance, and especially Robert Vaughn's performance as a ruthless politician make "Bullitt" worth watching. In fact the performances are excellent all the way through the cast (with the exception of Jacqueline Bisset, who's there only for eye candy and brings nothing special to her role).
Of course, the car chase is the most famous aspect of the film. Simply put, it's the best car chase ever filmed, bar none. It's been copied, and with today's technology, should have been exceeded. Yet it still stands alone. Why?
First, the presence of Steve McQueen - who else could bring it off as well as he did? Second, the era it came from, the late 60's. Films in those days didn't have chases, so it set the standard. There's no camera tricks or special effects to screw it up, what you see is what you get. It's just wouldn't be the same if one of today's big stars got in his BMW to chase another guy in a Porsche, complete with special effects, the obligatory explosions and slow-motion techniques.
If you've never seen it, watch it. If you have seen it, it still holds up after repeated viewings. 9 out of 10.
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