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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Filmmaking > Making Of Bullitt

The Making of (Peter Yates’) BULLITT


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Main Program: B



Steve McQueen, along with Sean Connery, he redefined the concept of the lead actor and created the Action genre as we known it today.  Like Connery, he did not always get the credit he deserved for his acting ability, but his influence and importance are inarguable.  Bullitt (1968) is one of his greatest films and is known for one of the most important action moments in cinema history: it’s car chase.


That chase has been ripped off endless times, imitated (as recently as Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct in 1992), spoofed (in Peter Bogdanovich’s 1972 comedy classic What’s Up Doc?) and caused a drive in attempts to top it.  This was especially the case in The French Connection, The Seven-Ups, and many of the other great urban thrillers of the time.  However, the film is about the title anti-hero (McQueen) being the Police Department’s loose cannon, so much so that he may have stumbled upon something unusual about operations that might get him killed.


This Making of program offers the original trailer and a featurette on how far McQueen went as producer to be realistic, something not included on the original Warner Bros. DVD issued years ago or the brand-new boxed set just-issued.  They do have the trailer, but it is bizarre the featurette is not included there.  It is here, however, which makes this low-priced DVD as key to have as the elaborate box that goes for a list of $80 and will only be available for a limited time.


The various aspect ratios on the DVD average out in picture quality, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 is usually Mono.  The box claims surrounds, but they simply do not exist here.  The menu has the irritating problem of the highlighting not being bright enough, so you have to look close to get use to it.  They did not make to distinct enough shades of green.  Scene selection will give you full access.


In addition to trailer collections highlighting the careers of McQueen and co-star Jacqueline Bisset, it has a great collection of trailers for other major films in the Bullitt vein like McQueen’s original Getaway, Walter Hill’s The Driver (he wrote The Getaway), the first Dirty Harry sequel Magnum Force, Spielberg’s Duel (a U.S. Telefilm issued theatrically in Europe), the outlaw classic Vanishing Point, and George Miller’s original Mad Max with Mel Gibson.  It would have been nice to show memorabilia on the film, as well as even brief looks at co-stars Robert Vaughn, Simon Oakland, Robert Duvall, Don Gordon, Vic (Victor) Tayback, and a then-serious Norman Fell (later TV’s Mr. Roper on Three’s Company and its spin-off).  The other thing would have been to show a bit of Yates other work, including Robbery (a 1967 forerunner of sorts to this film), his 1972 heist film The Hot Rock, and grossly underseen and underrated thriller Suspect (1987) with Dennis Quaid and Cher (in one of best-ever performances).  Otherwise, of the four films issued by Passport Video in this series, only their Making of Westworld is equal.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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