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BULLITT (1968)

Director: Peter Yates

Writers: Alan Trustman and Harry Kleiner
(Based on the novel MULE WITNESS [1963] by Robert L. Fish writing as Robert L. Pike)

Cast: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn, Don Gordon, Simon Oakland, Norman Fell, Robert Duvall, Georg Stanford Brown...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA):

Runtime: 114 minutes

Genres: Action/Crime/Drama/Mystery/Thriller

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Has anyone not seen BULLITT or the famous car chase scene through San Francisco?

Yes. (And I lived in San Francisco for over a decade! I even lived in the area much of the film was shot. But I didn't get there until 1971.) Silly me, in all these years I thought the title of the movie was "Bullet" not "Bullitt."

Briefly, Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) is assigned to protect a star witness. Before morning, the witness is dead and Bullitt is out to get his killers.

I liked the gritty feel of the film and McQueen's insistence on using real police procedure, real hospital procedures, etc. for the time. And of course, you can't go wrong with the City of San Francisco as your background. The car chase was exciting but the green VW bug was annoying. They kept passing it during the chase scenes. I know it was one of their own stunt drivers in the little VW bug and was being used to keep stray traffic out of the way during the filming but it caused an unnecessary distraction for me. I was counting the number of times they whizzed past the green VW (six times, I think) and completely lost track of the story. I imagine nowadays someone would edit it out...

Still, an exciting film. The transfer to Blu-ray (and DVD) has been criticized because of the condition of the source but I have no complaints. I'd never seen it before so I'm not qualified to compare or complain.

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