HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
   
 
Newest Articles
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bullitt The Tao Of Steve
Year: 1968
Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset, Don Gordon, Simon Oakland, Norman Fell, Robert Duvall, Georg Stanford Brown, Justin Tarr, Carl Reindel, Felice Orlandi, Vic Tayback, Robert Lipton, Ed Peck, Pat Renella, Paul Genge, John Aprea, Bill Hickman
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: San Francisco police lieutenant Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) is awakened in his apartment much against his wishes by a colleague, and is ordered to head over to a private function being held by rising star attorney Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) who is drumming up support for a political career. He goes straight up to Bullitt the moment he arrives and tells him they can help each other - but does Chalmers need him more? What the lieutenant is being asked to do is protect crucial witness against the so-called Organisation Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), but that will be easier said than done with the criminals hot on his trail...

There were two films released in 1968 that brought a fresh cachet to the car chase; for comedies, it was The Love Bug, meaning that a humorous, Keystone Kops pursuit would not be considered out of place for a long while after. For thrillers, it was Bullitt, whose car chase exploded onto the screen halfway through and made audiences lulled by the low key suspense in that film suddenly sit up and notice they were watching a revolution in the genre. For years following this, the Hollywood thriller and its foreign imitators would attempt to emulate the McQueen movie's mixture of grit, icy cool and pulse pounding excitement.

Some of them better it, but Bullitt, with its title character sounding as if he had leapt from the pages of a pulp paperback, was the instigator that so many owed a debt to. In spite of its late sixties setting, it still feels modern such was its innovation that inspired so many, and McQueen was the action star who became a benchmark which most were measured by, not least because of his penchant for getting up close to his setpieces and performing as many of the driving stunts as he possibly could. Although he took quite a bit of persuading to play a cop, once he got used to the idea he threw himself into this film, taking care of much of the creative choices to ensure it worked out the way he wanted.

One of those choices was to hire British director Peter Yates thanks to being so impressed with the previous year's film Robbery, and its major car chase centrepiece, exhibiting a flair that Yates brought to this, from its brilliant title sequence to the final manhunt at the airport. Lalo Schifrin's proto-jazz-funk score was the icing on the cake, it was one of those movies where the actors barely needed to say any lines at all for the images and music did all the talking. Vaughn was never better as the aspiring man of influence, insidious in the manner in which he pulls the strings thanks to his shadowy connections but slick enough to get away with too much, an excellent foil to Bullitt's moral, driven and hitherto by the book cop. Only Jacqueline Bisset's love interest felt extraneous.

Her speech where she makes clear that her man has a job that is bringing him down to the level of the sewer is entirely unnecessary, and one of the missteps, as if the filmmakers were finding their feet with their new approach to crime thrillers. But Bullitt is a genuine favourite for rewatching, not merely due to its surface gloss and meaty suspense sequences, but because that plot is so dense that you are likely to forget much of it before you return to it for another viewing, rendering it as crisp as the first time you saw it. With its storyline getting bogged down in deliberately confusing double dealings - an actual double is involved - it's easy to get lost and simply look forward to the next big scene, but in its way this didn't matter so much when McQueen was so in control, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. The movie worships him, and his fans never found a better vehicle - so to speak - with which to do the same.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3955 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Peter Yates  (1929 - 2011)

British director with some range, originally from theatre and television. After Summer Holiday and Robbery, he moved to Hollywood to direct Bullitt, with its car chase making waves. There followed The Hot Rock, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Mother, Jugs & Speed, The Deep and touching teen drama Breaking Away before he returned to Britain for the fantasy Krull and The Dresser. Spent most of his final years working back in America.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: