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
Bullit thumps a newspaper stand to make it open and takes a paper, as he doesn't have the correct coin. However he then goes into a nearby shop, holding the paper, to buy some groceries. Surely he could have asked for an appropriate coin in his change which he could have then used to buy the newspaper. See more »
Look, Chalmers, let's understand each other... I don't like you.
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The late 1960s saw two classic, hard-boiled thrillers set in San Fransico; John Boorman's stylised 'Point Blank', and Peter Yates' 'Bullitt'. Calling your hero Bullitt might seem an unsubtle way to emphasise his macho qualities, but in fact Steve MacQueen plays him as a quiet man, not some wise-talking maverick: he does what he has to do, but takes no pleasure in his actions; and survives the roughness of his work not by becoming a monster, but simply by becoming a little less human. It's a believable portrait, and the film as a whole has a procedural feel: there are action scenes, but these are kept in their place in the overall design.
Today, the film is most famous for its celebrated car chase, which makes excellent use, as indeed does the movie as a whole, of the bay area locations, but is not actually shot that excitingly: the conclusion at the airport is more original, though it roots the film in the time when it was permissible to take a loaded gun onto a plane. But overall this is still a classy film, dry, exciting and bleak, and among the very best films of its day. William Friedkin's brilliant 'The French Connection', made a short while afterwards, would appear to owe it a debt.
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