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Did Steve McQueen Drive In Bullitt? All About The Chase Scene!


Back in 1968, when the film was released for the fans, everyone was in awe with the chase sequence that we saw. Although, fans right now in 2023 are generally curious if Steve McQueen drives in Bullitt. Well, here we are to answer all your burning questions regarding this classic film which never goes out of style and is still trending among moviegoers.

The entire genre of action was thrilled when we got the chase sequence in the film Bullitt in 1968. It longed for 10 minutes and 53 seconds but was as insanely cool as possible for a cinematic experience back in the day.

Life Magazine called out the scene as terrifying and deafening. In the scenes, we saw that Steve McQueen was sitting inside the Highland Green-hued 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback GT.

The scene was shot when the car was at a speed of over 110 miles an hour. As the actor was seen escaping the cinematic landscape on the screen, only the people who watched this film for a time knew the adrenaline they were receiving.

The San Francisco sky and the sound of cars racing just changed the cinema forever and it was obvious. At this point in time, it has now become an actual meter to measure the other car chase sequences of the same nature against.

Did Steve McQueen Drive In Bullitt?

A still of Steve McQueen from Bullitt

The film Bullitt is popular in the genre where we witness actor Steve McQueen playing the part of Frank Bullitt. He happens to be a police lieutenant in the San Francisco Police Department. The entire film took its inspiration from the real-life member of the force called Dave Toschi. He was in the lead while investigating the Zodiac Killer case. But now, fans are actually curious if this insane stunt scene of the car chase was actually shot by Steve McQueen himself. Thus, let us explore the answer a bit further.

Did Steve McQueen Drive In Bullitt?

The initial credits of the chase sequence in Bullitt are given to Steve McQueen himself. Although, it was actually shared by his stunt partner Bud Ekins. Bud just happened to be one of the best stunt drivers in the history of Hollywood and thus was employed for the job in Bullitt as well.

In order to catch a glimpse of Bud doing the whole shot during the car chase scene in Bullitt, we can glance over the interior shots taken while the Mustang was running. This way, it is easy to see the man who was driving.

The chase scene was shot with real cars at real speed and on real roads. They were all just cascading through the streets of San Francisco. The entire story felt like a cat-and-mouse chasing game until the very end of those adrenaline-filled 11 minutes. It all ends when Dodge actually crashes and kills the criminals who were inside the vehicle as it bursts out in flames.

Why Is The Bullitt Chase Scene Popular?

I know we have the car chase sorts in modern Hollywood films such as Fast and Furious but the originality in Bullitt still holds up to this date. There are a lot of analyses about why this chase scene is still dominant in the current media. I mean, it is pretty obvious.

There is no CGI used at all and everything was real and authentic until the very end. The directors used no camera tricks to shoot the chase and obviously, the stunts were not as complicated as they are in the modern day. With a dash of simplicity, the Bullitt chase scene won the hearts of many and still is ruling amongst the fans who love old-day cinema.

The entire scene was shot in a span of 3 weeks. There were a lot of takes through it all and they were all fixed together in the end. I mean, there were no advances in technology as today but this is what holds the whole thing up. If fans are curious enough, you can replay the scenes a few times to make out that there are errors in the editing. But well, the whole work was very new at the time, and thus, it won an Oscar for film editing.

Also read: Knives Out: A Glass Onion Mystery Ending Explained

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