I heard so many reference to Steve McQueen being the prototype of relentless and rebellious cop in Bullitt that I knew I had to watch it eventually. The time came and I realized it was too late. I am already spoiled by more dramatic action scenes and car chases of more recent movies than this 1968 thriller. I know that the film got the Oscar for editing, partly because the multi-angle shots of the long carchase scene, including from the driver’s view. In hindsight it must be hard to be a pioneer. There are so many movies that used these techniques since then that in comparison to them Bullitt seems tame. I also attribute this feeling of being slow moving to the ever-accelerating rhythm of actions in movies made in the last 40 years. (Here is more background information about the “granddaddy of carpursuit”. )
OK, there was more to the movie, but the focus was definitely on the car. The other way this movie was one of the first on the block is that the main character is a cop who doesn’t obey his captain’s orders and goes against other obstacles in the pursuit of the investigation and justice. He does what his mind tells him is the right thing to do, despite political and emotional pressure. Since then this idea also spawned a whole new genre of movies. It was good to watch a classic that was the originator of content and style for many more movies even if newer ones surpassed the original master.