Bullitt

Bullitt ★★★★

Of course I had seen this before, but that was before I joined Letterboxd and I had never posted any sort of review for it here; for the film's 50th anniversary it was about time I gave this another whirl.

What this movie is most famous for... still spectacular in late 2018 but for me the entire film is still very good. The unflappable, impossibly cool and steely Frank Bullitt (the icon Steve McQueen) is a Detective in the San Francisco Police Department. He has to guard an important witness in a trial against those in “the Organization” but said witness is gunned down and Frank has to investigate how and why this happened. In the past I've heard some say that this movie is “boring” but I respectfully disagreed. Each time I've seen this movie I was always captivated by both the police procedural stuff and the various action beats that appear in the film.

The cast as a whole does swell; it's not just McQueen's show. Jacqueline Bisset has a small supporting role and all she really does is provide humanity in one scene, but to be shallow I will not complain about seeing a young Jacqueline Bisset, and she was a San Francisco Treat here... no surprise that with how well the car chase still holds up today, that this won the Oscar for Best Film Editing. Lalo Schifrin's score is tremendous, but not hearing any music at all once the chase starts and instead it's the natural sound of roaring engines, squealing tires, etc. from the green Ford Mustang and black Dodge Charger as they speed on the hilly streets of the city then the scenic countryside... a genius decision.

As the film ends on a high note with a tense sequence, I will give this film high marks. Now, I can say that something I never noticed before: during the finale, you briefly see a woman pushing a baby carriage... or a baby buggy, as I understand it's call in areas like the UK. I presume it was supposed to be a real kid in there, but there's actually a doll in the carriage; I did in fact laugh at both that being something that is in Bullitt and me never noticing that in the past.

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