Bullitt ★★★½

A good way to introduce myself to Steve McQueen. Even though this was often a little too slow-moving for my taste, there was plenty I liked here. This neo-noir cop film follows McQueen as Frank Bullitt, a San Francisco PD lieutenant who is assigned to protect a witness who plans to testify against a Chicago-based organised crime ring. He wears a brown tweed-jacket, carries a holster rollneck and drives a V8 Ford Mustang, he is quite simply the epitome of cool.

It makes brilliant use of it's locations, is stylishly directed and choreographed by Peter Yates, and has a nice jazz-inspired music score by Lalo Scriffin (echoing his later efforts on Dirty Harry). This one is notable for having one of cinema's most iconic car chases, which shows Bullitt chasing a group of hitmen through the streets of San Francisco in his Mustang. Well-edited and exciting, it's definitely a influential one that still holds up well.

I admired this one alone for it's craftsmanship. The long runtime and slow pace was a bit of a drawback, but I did find the storyline captivating enough to hold my interest and it wasn't as difficult to follow as I anticipated. If you're looking for a good late 60s cop-thriller, this is definitely one worth a look, even for McQueen and it's car chase scene alone.


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