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Bullitt Reviews

Expert chase film, breathless and modern, that sent McQueen to the top of the box office heap. He plays the title character, a colorful and unorthodox police lieutenant assigned to protect a government witness scheduled to inform on the national crime syndicate. Climax has McQueen spotting hoodlums and following in one of the most spectacular car chases ever filmed, up and down the hills of San Francisco while hand-held cameras record the perilous pursuit as each car narrowly misses intersecting autos, barriers, and buildings as they squeal, slide, and lurch along the narrow streets. BULLITT was a return to the old, tough crime movies so expertly played by Bogart and Robinson, but made modern here by great technical advances and McQueen's taciturn, antihero stance. Yates's superb direction presents a fluid, always moving camera. All the performers are top-notch, from sour-faced Norman Fell to a curious bit part played by Robert Duvall as a cab driver who is seen almost entirely through a rear-view mirror. Aside from THE SAND PEBBLES, this fine production stands as McQueen's top achievement in a lamentably short career. The film won an Oscar for Best Film Editing and was nominated for Best Sound.