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Movie Critic Review: Bullitt (1968)


Steve McQueen
A Bullitt To Chase

I was watching some car chase scenes from Quinten Tarantino's movie 'Death Proof' when I noticed the caption written below the clip by the person who uploaded it. He wrote: Trailer of 'Deathproof'  by Quentin Tarantino, starring Kurt Russel and some awesome cars. Russel and the cars! It did not matter to him to even mention Zoe Bell, a stuntwoman by profession who was in the movie . This is one after-effect of the traumatic exposure to 'reality in the movie'.
We seem to accept when someone describes cars in a movie as stars. It is not anymore an exageration to glorify or even humanise objects.
On another note, I stopped reading an article the other day and went to look through the glass window to what was happening outside, which was... nothing!
I was reading about another less excessively constructed car chase than Tarantino's. In his 1968 movie 'Bullitt' director Robert Yates gave cinema one of the most influential car chases depicted in film. The protoype or "the grand-daddy" of car chases to come.What stopped me reading was the strikingly similar description (to the cars being stars) in which someone, at a different time, saw the editing of the chase sequence in 'Bullitt' as 'cutting.....in such a superb manner that..made the city of San Francisco a "character" in the film'!

There is good information (Wikipedia for one) on how these ten minutes of suspense from 'Bullitt" were filmed in three weeks and how the broad and hilly streets of San Francisco had witnessed some licensed scare to the ordinary man in the street by some crazy stunts (Steve McQueen was one of them). These so-called American muscle cars leaping and squeaking in broad daylight San Francisco. Unfrogetable!
The chase in Bullitt was not only a landmark in filmmaking, it actually kept resonating in every recommendation to watch this movie. There is a lot to be drawn from the cinematography, the logistics and the participation of real-life professional stunt heroes in this sequence.
And it had positive economic consequences. Car makers at Ford who provided the needed vehicles for the movie, later improved their make and named their car after Bullitt, the character in the movie played by Steve McQueen who drove to market the Ford cars on two different seasons.
'Bullitt' does not have a great storyline to follow but nevertheless it is a must-see!
The edge-of-the-seat kind of action crime drama. It has this memorable actor Steve
McQueen. There is also Robert Vaughn in a typical Robert Vaughn role and there is also
a small part for Robert Duvall who went on to become famous in his part in the first and second 'GodFather' movies.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Bullitt  (1968, color, 114 min)
Cast: Steve McQueen, Jaqueline Bisset,
Robert Vaughn, Robert Duvall
Editor: Frank P. Keller (Oscar Best Editing)
Screenplay: Allan Trustman et al
(Based on the novel Mute Witness by Robert F. Fish)
Produced by: Philip D'Antoni (who later made The French Connection)
Original Music: Lalo Schifrin
Directed by: Peter Yates






 


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