Movie: Bullitt w/Steve McQueen (1968)

My Take:

  • So many people have told me how cool Steve McQueen is.  I am going to have to see him in something else.  This movie is not what I expected, especially seeing as it is on so many “Top 100 Movies Of All Times” lists.  Not sure why.
  • Slow.  Did I mention that?  Very, very slow.
  • Watching a movie this old, it is hard to not compare it to modernized movies.  Which, I guess, is not terribly fair.
  • Nice car he is driving – mustang.
  • The thing that stands out most to me is the advancements in audio and sound editing.  When people walk in these old movies it sounds as if they are wearing tap shoes.
  • What is a Dept of Physical Medicine?
  • The hats for the nurse and the surgeons are pretty spectacular!
  • The assassin, with an ice pick taped to his hairy leg!
  • Some groovy foot chase music going on.
  • Women had some seriously TALL hair in the late 60s.
  • Product placement: Swanson’s TV Dinners.
  • Bad guy put on his seat belt just before the chase scene.  How very safe of him.
  • In the chase scene, they splice the same bit of footage over and over.  The same Green VW Bug is passed four times.
  • When McQueen and Jaquline Bisset pull off the interstate, there are a series of cars in traffic behind them (including a truck and a van).  When they pull away, the producers used the same shot back at the traffic with the same truck and the same van in the same position.
  • HOLY SHIT it’s Mr Roper from Three’s Company!  I cannot take him seriously as a heavy.
  • Wait, Robert Duvall is a cab driver in this movie and that is it?  Really?

I guess I need to find another Steve McQueen movie to watch because this one did not display the “coolness” everyone speaks of (IMHO).  I give it a C.

Did you see the movie?  Did you like or hate it?  Let me know in the comments below!



Starting at 1:28, see how many times you can count the green VW.  There is a white car that is shown more than once but it is not as in your face repetitive as the bug.

IMDB synopsis: An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.


Additional Movie Data:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes review of 97% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 85% liking it.  Average Rating: 3.8/5 with a number of User Ratings: 39,733.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  It had an estimated budget of $5.5M.  It has a 114 minute run time. Release date: 17 October 1968.

Additional IMDB Trivia:

  • According to Peter Yates, Steve McQueen made a point to keep his head near the open car window during the famous chase scene so that audiences would be reassured that it was he, not a stunt man, who was driving.
  • Bullitt’s reverse burnout during the chase scene actually wasn’t in the script–Steve McQueen had mistakenly missed the turn. The footage was still kept, though.
  • Steve McQueen based his character on San Francisco Homicide Inspector Dave Toschi, made famous for his work on the Zodiac killings. McQueen had a copy made of Toschi’s custom fast-draw shoulder holster.
  • No sets were built for the film.
  • The famous car chase lasts 10 minutes and 53 seconds.
  • The holster worn by Steve McQueen was later put into production by Safariland leather company and is still in the line. It is known as the Klipspringer Shoulder holster.
  • The new mumps vaccine Delgetti is talking about when he reads the newspaper was the Jeryl Lynn vaccine developed in 1967.
  • Body Count: 6.
  • The license plate on the Mustang is JJZ 109.
  • At the end of the car chase, with the explosion at the gas station, you can clearly see the Dodge Charger car re-appearing behind and to the left of the flames and was not, therefore, the cause of the explosion. It looks like the Dodge Charger had an escape lane behind the set-piece explosion, although it did look to be moving pretty quickly.

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