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Bullitt (1968)

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An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.

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(screenplay) (as Alan R. Trustman), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,888 ( 133)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Bullitt
... Chalmers
... Cathy
... Delgetti
... Weissberg
... Captain Bennet
... Baker
... Dr. Willard
... Eddy
Carl Reindel ... Stanton
... Renick
... Pete Ross (as Victor Tayback)
... 1st Aide
... Westcott
Pat Renella ... John Ross
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Steve McQueen As 'Bullitt' See more »


Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A chicagoi tanú  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$42,300,873
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Much was made at the time, and over the years since, of Lieutenant Bullitt's stylish "casual" attire of a turtleneck worn with a sport coat, slacks, and suede-like shoes. Since the major portion of the story in the film takes place over a Saturday and Sunday, this was actually in keeping with some police departments' traditions of a more relaxed dress code on weekends for plainclothes officers. Bullitt is first seen at work when meeting Chalmers on a Friday morning, wearing a traditionally conservative navy suit under his trench coat, with a white shirt, dark tie and dress shoes. These clothes were actually supplied by a menswear shoppe in London, England, Dougie Heywood's, Peter Yates' tailors. See more »

Goofs

When the cab drops off Frank Bullitt to pick up his mustang at the car wash; as the car door swings open, the reflection of the camera crew is visible in the door glass. See more »

Quotes

Captain Bennet: He let the killers in himself? Why would he do a thing like that?
Bullitt: I'm waiting to ask him.
Captain Bennet: What about the setup? What do you make of that?
Bullitt: Shotgun and a backup man, professionals.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Best! Movies! Ever!: Chases (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Snowfall
(uncredited)
Written by Sonny Burke and Paul Francis Webster
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The epitome of cool.
11 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

This film begins with perhaps the opening title sequence in film history. The look, the sounds and the titles themselves....all very, very cool. Lalo Schifrin's song is the perfect jazz tune to accompany this and you just know that this movie is something special.

The title character (Steve McQueen) is a Lieutenant with the San Francisco police and he and his partner (Don Gordon) are assigned the task to protect a mob informant. Now considering that this is an action-suspense film, what happens next is no big surprise. However, what was nice is how the film combined realistic looking police work with amazing action and grittiness--like combining Film Noir with and action film as well as a healthy dose of cool. I could say more about the plot, but would rather not--as there are a lot of mystery elements about the film and I'd hate to ruin the surprises and twists.

The most famous part of this film is, of course, the great car chase scene--featuring a Ford Mustang playing 'cat and mouse' with a Dodge Charger up and down the hills of the city. It's a magnificent scene but fortunately there's a lot more to the film than this--it's NOT just this chase but a well-made and intelligent cop film--a very gritty one at that. To make things even better, the film featuring some excellent actors doing their craft in addition to McQueen--such as Robert Vaughn, Simon Oakland and Don Gordon--who I have always thought was an underrated actor.

If you see this film, you may see some parallels with the later Dirty Harry series. Both are set in San Francisco, both feature an undercover cop who hates to play by the rules and both are tough characters. However, McQueen's 'Bullit' is more cool and thoughtful but a lot less intensely angry--and as a result a lot easier to believe...but also a bit less entertaining as he doesn't have all those wonderful Eastwood tag-lines! Personally, I prefer McQueen's style--you may not.

Overall, the film is exceptional--one of the best police films of the era. In fact, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to give it a 9 or 10--and giving any film a 10 is something I very, very rarely do. Why a 10? Well the film has got it all--an interesting plot, great action, terrific tension and a realism that sets it apart from the usual cop film. And, it sure has style to boot. Not surprisingly, this film was very influential and was followed by many police films which were reminiscent of "Bullitt"--such as "The French Connection", "McQ" and, of course, the Dirty Harry films. The only deficits, and they are very, very minor, is that perhaps McQueen is too cool and quiet as well as how inexplicable it is in the airport scene that none of the many, many travelers seem to notice he is holding a gun. You'd think someone would notice and say something! Still, it's a great film from start to finish and it holds up marvelously over time.


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