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USA 1968
Directed by
Peter Yates
113 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


Deservedly recognized as a classic of 1960s style Bullitt also provides us with one of Steve McQueen's iconic roles. Although it does not live up to its wonderful opening titles its plot about a witness protection assignment that goes wrong for hot-hot cop Frank Bullitt (McQueen) moves along efficiently its main focus on the super-cool McQueen (most of the story development takes place off-screen).

Frank Keller won an Oscar for editing, a role which is crucial to the pace and economy of the film. Today it is best remembered for its 11 minute roller-coaster car chase up and down the streets of San Francisco (McQueen who did his own driving requested Yates who started out in life as a professional racing car driver, on the strength of the car chase in Yates's comparable 1967 crime movie Robbery).

Robert Duvall has a small role as a cabbie, Robert Vaughn plays a slimy ambitious politician who locks horns with Bullitt whilst a largely extraneous Jacqueline Bissett has nothing to do other than offer a decorative touch to proceedings.

English-born director Peter Yates had an eclectic career which stretched from the Cliff Richard vehicle Summer Holiday (1963) to the very American underwater adventure film The  Deep (1977) and on to the very English thespian drama The Dresser (1983). 




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