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PETER YATES GIVES MORE THAN CHASE IN THE CLASSIC 'BULLITT'

Steve McQueen as BULLITT Year: 1968 Rating: ****1/2

The iconic car chase is the only thing that seems to matter in BULLITT, and not just for the media since director Peter Yates's prior chase in his British heist thriller ROBBERY was so admired by Steve McQueen, Yates got this gig... But there's more than just action in ROBBERY, and the cop/crime classic BULLITT is more about words than wheels...

In particular, McQueen's Frank Bullitt taking a blind chance to prove climbing politician Robert Vaughn wrong, and without even realizing what's not exactly right in the first place... 

Hiding a dead witness that Frank and partner Don Gordon were hired to protect, the best scene has McQueen and Vaughn facing off in a quasi-polite conversation ("who else knew where he was?") leading to several less sterile confrontations (with police chief Simon Oakland as a wishbone). And what occurs before and after that hilly San Francisco road romp epitomizes the Police Procedural sub-genre: putting the viewer into the slow-paced, ultra-realistic, concentrated and methodical shoes of Lt. Frank Bullitt and, after proving what needed proving there's only one big action scene left, giving BULLITT two climaxes for the price of one edgy, daring and timeless (though sporadically dated) motion picture that should be celebrated beyond a speedy green Mustang. Although that's pretty damn cool too. Icing on a cake... with layers.  

Steve McQueen foot chase in the hospital in BULLITT
The best scene with Steve McQueen in BULLITT with Robert Vaughn
"Who let him in?" says Steve McQueen to Robert Vaughn in BULLITT
Unlike Steve McQueen, Frank BULLITT can't stand being around rich people
Don "Drink your Orange Juice and shut up Delgetti" Gordon from BULLITT
Robert Vaughn and his personal cop-in-pocket Norman Fell in BULLITT
Police procedural sequence with Don Gordon & Steve McQueen in BULLITT
The tail-end of the legendary mustang car chase in BULLITT
Rat Patrol driver JUSTIN TARR as Eddie the Snitch in BULLITT w/ Steve McQueen
Norman Fell, Simon Oakland, Don Gordon & Steve McQueen in BULLITT

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