Monday, July 28, 2008

Bullitt

This movie didn't invent the cop-that-breaks-the-rules cliche but it is far and away the best of them. Steve McQueen brings his most intense cool beyond cool demeanor and director Peter Yates makes excellent use of it. The car-chase scene is famous – rightfully so – but I think the best parts of the movie are interspersed as he ponders clues. There's this odd little tic or perhaps absence of tic that he uses to show that he has had a brainstorm. The plot is barely adequate for a feature film but the deficit is made up in lots of interesting reaction shots of McQueen. Supporting roles are well done, too, except for the notably vapid performance by Jacqueline Bissett who has to say the stupidest things and does them stupidly. (In her defense, I think she was still a model at this point with her triumph, i.e., The Deep, still in the future.)

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