The Late Reviewer: Bullitt

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February 2, 2019- by Steven E. Greer

I am not sure why, but the Steve McQueen film Bullitt was one that I felt compelled to see, much like the people in Close Encounters making sculptures of Devil’s Tower out of mashed potatoes. Why? I do not know. I had never seen a Steve McQueen film. Quite frankly, I had a negative prejudice toward him.

Directed by Peter Yates, Bullitt was made before Hollywood studios were acquired by large corporations and turned into cash flow machines. Directors could cast whom they wanted and make proper films.

No. This is not a car flick. The Ford Mustang McQueen drove was a big part of the film midway, for about five-minutes. But unlike modern cheesy films, the action scenes were just part of the story. I was so relieved and impressed to learn that the film had many more scenes to tell after the car chases.

The character development is excellent. The cinematography is excellent.

Steve McQueen is not the stereotypical tough cop beating people up, as I feared. He is an intellectual character.

Why did I feel compelled to see this? I wonder, but it could be that it was made in 1968 when I was born. I had no idea until writing this essay.

So many historic things happened in 1968.

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