Senator Walter Chalmers is aiming to take down mob boss Pete Ross with the help of testimony from the criminal's hothead brother Johnny, who is in protective custody in San Francisco under the watch of police lieutenant Frank Bullitt. When a pair of mob hitmen enter the scene, Bullitt follows their trail through a maze of complications and double-crosses. This thriller includes one of the most famous car chases ever filmed.
Good story, Not enough for a whole film
After playing with our expectations, this turns out to be a very different sort of film.
An old-fashioned movie made with new-fashioned finesse.
Watched the blu ray of this the other day. I enjoyed it but it struck me that it is style over content? The plot is minimal,but it looks and sounds great. I am not a car fan but of course the cars look great and you have to love the whole look of the film,the clothes,his apartment and the look of the cityI don't like it as much as the director's previous film Robbery but I do like Bullitt.Was Steve Mcqueen the first no tie hipster cop? Compare this film with The Detective and Madigan,made about the same time,it is a new era in cop films?
One of my favorite movies and is one of a kind. A no-nonsense artistically superb film that is a perfect blend of minimalist acting, camera work and soundtrack. The simple spartan dialogue gives the actors the screen space to communicate much more than words. They manage to deliver more realistic characters than the pretentious over-the-top acting we often encounter in our time. McQueen does an incredible job in shaping the personality of his character and discretely exposing his struggles to manage and insulate his two worlds: a rough job that he is good at and a bohemian private life. Eventually, his work drive breaks the insulating barrier... This element of invoking the audience's thoughts has faded from mainstream Hollywood films. It is a period movie that takes you back to that glorious (or not so glorious) SF era. The plot may appear simple at first but there seems to more under the surface and it may take several viewings to connect the dots.
McQueen had it all - Cool and Edgy. Something about the movie is just old school intriguing - I watch it at least once a year.
Most known for its classic car chase through the streets of San Francisco, Bullitt is one cool action movie. It has those moments of high energy, but at the same time, it's masterful in its pace and spare in its dialog, which is refreshing. Director Peter Yates really lets the story breathe, and by doing that puts the viewer in those moments, whether it's sifting through evidence or searching for someone in airport terminal. There is a wonderful sense of realism about the film.Steve McQueen personifies cool, and I loved how quiet his character is. He expresses himself through his eyes, and it's not until late in the movie that he allows himself to say "Look, Chalmers, let's understand each other... I don't like you" to the shady politician, played well by Robert Vaughn. At a time when America was highly divided, McQueen plays a cop who is not above stealing a newspaper from a dispenser, but at the same time, has a strong moral compass, resists offers to look the other way for his own gain, and does the right thing. When an underworld figure gives him information, he asks him what he can do in return, and refrains from heavy-handed muscling. As he listens to jazz in a nightclub and is inadvertently brushed in the head with a menu by a waiter, he doesn't get indignant or angry, he just smiles, in what seems like a very natural moment. He's tough without having to show how tough he is. As hippies might refer to him, he's 'The Man', and yet, he stands up to 'The Man'. And, as he's also dating Jacqueline Bisset, he's the guy every guy wishes he could be.The rest of the cast is strong, including Don Gordon as his partner and Simon Oakland as his captain. Robert Duvall makes a brief appearance as a cab driver. Georg Stanford Brown is an African-American doctor, and it was nice to see the diversity. I loved the soundtrack, which is cool jazz and used sparingly, which is refreshing. The ending is understated, and slightly ambiguous, adding to the realism. There are beautiful scenes in San Francisco, and while residents will notice the chase inexplicably jumps from the Marina district to an area near Daly City, that ride down the Taylor Street hill is fantastic. Even the cars are super cool in this film, a '68 Ford Mustang and '68 Dodge Charger. If you're in the mood for a great old-school action film, this is it.