1968 Running time: 109 Certificate: 15 Rating: 4

Synopsis

Maverick cop Steve McQueen hunts down the killer of a key witness in Peter Yates' iconic suspense thriller. Robert Vaughn plays the ambitious politician whose motives remain murky, but it's the car chase - a sublimely edited roller coaster of a ride (this won an Oscar for best editing) following McQueen's Mustang down San Francisco's hills at more than 100mph - that went on to inspire countless inferior imitations. Trivia: Bullitt stuntman Bud Ekins had earlier filmed the legendary motorcycle sequence (again featuring McQueen) in The Great Escape.

Director

  • Peter Yates

Cast

  • Steve McQueen

  • Robert Vaughn

  • Jacqueline Bisset

  • Robert Duvall

Review

Besides being a taut suspense drama in its own right, Bullitt possesses the now-legendary car chase around the streets and hills of San Francisco that opened up a whole new box-office bonanza for makers of crime thrillers.

And Bullitt's producer, Philip D'Antoni, hit the jackpot again three years later in similar vein with The French Connection, which has a classic chase sequence of its own.

In the title role, Steve McQueen's charismatic, hard-hitting performance established him as the world's number one pin-up, while Jacqueline Bisset's strikingly warm portrayal of his girlfriend made the English girl a top Hollywood star.

The third star is the city of San Francisco, never used to greater advantage than here by director Peter Yates and photographer William A Fraker, who later turned director himself.

You can almost feel the sunshine and smell the California coast air. As for the plot, suffice to say that it will keep you guessing right up to the end.

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