Bullitt

Bullitt ★★★★

Bullitt is Peter Yates' ultra-realistic police precedural film starring Steve McQueen as the grizzled Lieutenant Frank Bullitt.

Sandwiched in between the realism and the effortless cool of Steve McQueen is that scene. Overshadowing the rest of the film regardless of how good it is. Still, to this day some 50 years later, the greatest car chase ever put to film.

The '68 fastback Ford Mustang and the '68 Dodge Charger. Two of the most iconic cars in history (in part due to this film), tearing their way through the hills of San Francisco filmed with the camerawork equivalent of poetry.

The way the two cars build up the tension prior to the chase, flirting between potential lovers eyeing each other across the room and a predator stalking it's prey like an extended session of vehicular foreplay, before descending into the city proper is both tense and almost sensual.

The pirrhouetting between the Charger being the chaser and the chased and the Mustang likewise is like velvet butter. The clever driving and the POV camera shots put you to the edge of your seat and the adrenaline forces you to smile. You're living vicariously through McQueen now and you know it.

You gain the upperhand, you're in pursuit. You're disregarding traffic as nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Likewise is damaging the beautiful V8 piece of art you're driving as you ram into your adversary. You narrowly avoid killing a downed motorcyclist and spin out on the dirt. Do you give up? No. You're fucking relentless. You get back up to speed, gain back the lost ground and force your opponent into their last ditch attempt at losing you, one which also reveals what you're after. The evidence your lead required. The Winchester Pump. That's it, end game. Ka-fucking-boom.

Absolute fucking magic.

Bullitt is considered a classic for good reason. Because it is one. And it will be for the rest of history.

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