directed by Peter Yates
Steve McQueen was, is and will always be one of the most effortlessly, enragingly and intoxicatingly cool actors ever to grace the silver screen, and that’s not even a debatable issue. From The Great Escape to The Towering Inferno, McQueen’s personae is as iconic as they come, and his turn as the hard boiled ass kicker Frank Bullitt, charged with protecting a key witness for 48 hours, is perhaps his finest work. Peter Yates directs the hell out of the film, and those San Francisco car chases are out of sight. And McQueen did his own effing driving for the film! Shit, he just even more awesome! Steven McQueen’s magic on camera rivals that of Bogart, Clooney, Newman and Bronson, and virtually anything that plays to his strengths is bound to be classic.
Confession: I have to admit, however, that I did not like The Thomas Crown Affair, and liked the unfortunate remake even less (I’d rather go to the dentist than re-watch that soulless update). I apologize if I have offended you McQueen die-hards out here, but let’s be honest with ourselves. Don’t be blinded by your love. Pour example, I adore Charles Bronson and think he is one of cinema’s finest presences, but it doesn’t excuse Death Wish 3 and 4. Or 5. Or Family of Cops (all of them). But I remember The Mechanic, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Dirty Dozen and The Great Escape, also with McQueen- hey, it just came full circle! That’s what I so love about film. You can digress and veer, but you can always find your way back to the point. That’s the magic that makes sprawling, eight hour conversations about one film (that’s really about hundreds of films) possible.