bullitt movie

Bullitt (1968)

Plot: San Francisco undercover cop Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) and his team are assigned to keep a witness safe, only to see him shot and killed. Now Bullitt is in a race against time to bring the killers to justice.

Review: Bullitt is one of those movies that has become iconic, and a film which everybody should watch at least once.

The film isn’t perfect, but it has so many moments which ooze class and quality. Not least is the now famous chase scene that sees classic cars tear through the streets of San Francisco at high speed - with McQueen doing as much as possible without a stunt man. And while it may have put the insurance costs up, it was worth it for the authenticity it brings to the scene. But then McQueen is great as the titular policeman, giving a lesson in understated cool that a lot of actors now could really learn from.

The problem isn’t in the iconic moments that the film gives us, but is instead between them. Robert Vaughn thinks this is the best work of his career, and it might be, but apart from a sneer in a suit, it’s hard to see what he gives the picture besides a proxy villain in place of a real one. The lack of a mastermind to a grand scheme is obvious, and while the story moves at a nice pace, a true nemesis would have been nice.

The plot of Bullitt has aged pretty well, no doubt in part due to the fact it was so influential for a generation of filmmakers that followed it, allowing it to seem more contemporary. The word icon is thrown around so much and so needlessly, it’s a pleasure to be reminded of what it should mean. 

Unsurprisingly, the Highland Green Ford Mustang GT 390 from the movie Bullitt has been named the all-time favourite screen Ford following the survey carried out by FordFest. The top ten screen Fords were

1.       Mustang GT 390, Bullitt
2.       Consul 3000 GT, The Sweeney
3.       Capri 3.0S, The Professionals
4.       Cortina 2000 GXL, Life on Mars
5.       Gran Torino, Starsky and Hutch
6.       Shelby Mustang (Eleanor), Gone in 60 Seconds
7.       Escort XR3i Cabriolet, Dempsey and Makepeace
8.       Capri Mk 2, Minder
9.       GT40, Le Mans
10.     Anglia 105E, Harry Potter