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Bullitt

Year: 1968
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Peter Yates
Cast: Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughan, Jacqueline Bissett, Robert Duvall
What a disappointment after hearing so much about what a classic cop drama this was. I can only attribute it to one thing - the general consensus that it contains one of cinema's great car chases has convinced people of a lot more worth than there actually is in the rest of the film.

Bullitt (McQueen) is a San Fran cop who – along with two partners – is told do babysit a high level witness in a mob case until his trial. They take turns staying at the snitch's apartment but gunmen still manage to do away with him and one of Bullitt's partners.

Bullitt goes after the bad guys, and the hunt includes the iconic car chase (which despite the rest of the movie is very good). But the rest of it is so dream-like, so unengaging, the characters so colourless and the drama so devoid of emotion, it feels like a documentary about a not-very-exciting police case.

This was McQueen's persona, however – hard as nails, get-the-job-done, quiet, no wisecracks or quips. It just makes for very disconnecting cinema.

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