San Francisco Police Lieutenant Bullitt's tasked by ambitious Walter Chalmers, to guard Johnny Ross, a Chicago mobster who's about to turn evidence against the organisation. Chalmers wants Ross' safety at all cost, or else Bullitt will pay the consequences.Written by
"BULLITT comes to this theatre soon. That ought to shake up the place pretty good. Not many freaky cops like BULLITT around. You look at the Italian shoes and the turtleneck and you have to wonder. You listen to the official beefs about 'personal misconduct', 'disruptive influence', you figure he's got to be up for trade. But when some rare Chicago blood starts spilling in San Francisco, they give BULLITT the mop. They weren't exactly doing him a favour. But they've done a great big one for you" See more »
During the chase scene, there is a green V W Bug that is passed at least 4 times. See more »
Lieutenant, don't try to evade the responsibility. In your... parlance, you blew it. You knew the significance of his testimony, yet you failed to take adequate measures to protect him. So to you, it was a job, no more. Were it more, and you had the dedication I was led to believe...
You believe what you want. You work your side of the street, and I'll work mine.
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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 »
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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