Action/Adventure · Drama · Mystery · Thriller

Entry #7- Bullitt (1968)


Director: Peter Yates

Stars: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn

Quote from film: “Look, Chalmers, let’s understand each other…I don’t like you.”–Bullitt (Steve McQueen)

Story/Plot: Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) is a detective for the San Francisco Police Department. Bullitt meets Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) who is a politician in the city that wants Bullitt to guard Chicago mobster Johnny Ross (Pat Renella). Chalmers wants Ross protected so he can interrogate Ross at a Senate subcommittee hearing that is focused on organized crime. Chalmers wants to do this to help himself in his political ambitions. Bullitt, with Sergeant Delgetti (Don Gordon) and Detective Carl Stanton (Carl Reindel) watch over Ross at a hotel for the weekend because Ross is scheduled at the meeting on Monday. A pair of hitmen come and seriously wound Ross and Stanton. Chalmers finds out about the incident and threatens Bullitt by telling him that if Ross dies, he will end his career. The hitman comes to the hospital to finish Ross, but thanks to a scream from a nurse, the hitman bolts and tries to escape. Bullitt trails him, but never catches up to him. Ross dies in the hospital and Bullitt has to react quickly or Chalmers will get rid of him. Bullitt tries to follow information leads on Ross and realizes that he is being trailed by two men. The two men follow him through San Francisco and Bullitt gets the jump on them by losing them and then getting behind the two to trail them. This starts a wild car chase through the streets of San Francisco that ends with Bullitt figuring out it was the hitmen and his partner, and the pair dying in a brutal car crash. Bullitt uncovers that the man killed in the hotel wasn’t Johnny Ross, it was actually a man paid by Johnny to act like him. Johnny wanted the mob off of his trail and used an innocent man to throw the mob off. Bullitt, Chalmers, and the cops track Johnny, who is at the airport. It leads to a final confrontation that does not go the way Chalmers had hoped.

Why to see before you die: Bullitt is a great film that gives the audience a thrill from beginning to end. Frank Bullitt is a determined character that will stop at nothing to pursue justice and make sure things are done right. Robert Vaughn’s portrayal of Chalmers is fantastic and Vaughn gives Chalmers the look of a sly, manipulating character that is worried about his own personal gain. The story is excellent that leads to a satisifying conclusion and leaves no loose ends. The car chase scene is well-constructed as Yates gives the audience intense shots and angles of the wild chase. Steve McQueen is known for being cool and he gives us that with some grit. Below is a link to the vicious, car-chase scene that involves Bullitt and the two hitmen. I hope that anyone that views will enjoy and becomes inspired to see the film before they die.


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