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
...from from rogue cops who make their own rules, to... rogue cops who seriously know how to put the pedal to the medal. Only Bogie and John Wayne were cinematic tough guys before Frank Bullitt came along, and it was Bullitt that inspired Dirty Harry and every rogue cop movie as a result. If you were looking for the first modern cop thriller, well here it is. Accept no substitutes. In today's over-blown and effects laden (for better of for worse) era, people often forget that all those films began with movies like this one.
The story has Lieutenant Frank Bullitt receiving an assignment to protect a star witness in a high profile case that could bring down a powerful crime organization. Bullitt and his men take turns guarding the witness, but before long there is a hit and the witness is mortally wounded, and Bullitt takes the case into his own hands. The resulting mystery is both Grade-A Hollywood entertainment (rare these days) and a believable character portrait of a man engulfed by his work in a cruel world.
Of course one cannot talk about his movie without mentioning the legendary car chase, which is one of the best out there, but is not the main part of the movie as many make it out to be. If you see this movie just for some pedal to the medal action you will be let down. The focus of the movie is on Bullitt and the car chase, while very exciting and fun to watch, is one of the many scenes that show Bullitt's near obsession to work. Unlike today's crap action movies there is no 37 car pile up, no cars flipping over simply because the bad guys are driving them.
Also the finale of the film, a foot chase at an airport, has our hero firing two shots from his pistol and that is the only time he uses it in the movie. This film demonstrates that action is best when the result of a character's emotions and not a director's ambition to blow stuff up. Bullitt wants to get the bottom of the case, he wants to find out who's been following him around town and that is the result of the action scenes. In the end the film is a true classic and Frank Bullitt is a character to remember. 10/10
Rated PG: violence (though if it were released today, it probably would get a PG-13)
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