Bullitt, or How to Travel San Francisco in Style

I love my Mustang so I am obliged to love Bullitt.  That’s just the way it is.  As I was watching this I found myself picturing my car chasing down a Dodge Charger (which I may have to do in real life one of these days), so that made it a little extra fun.


I have heard about this car chase for as long as I can remember.  It deserves all the accolades.  It feels like it could be real.  There’s no CG, no pretend flawless driving by either car, it’s just a wild chase with two drivers smashing their cars against the road over and over as they navigate the hills of San Francisco, and then smashing into/shooting at each other for good measure until (spoiler alert) one blows up.  There’s no music so you can focus on all the screeching tires and revving engines without any distractions.  I wish that old school approach was applied more often today.

The rest of the movie?  Not as awesome.  I found it confusing (why was there such confusion over a witness’ identity?), annoying (I hated Chalmers SO MUCH) and sad (Bullitt is not a happy guy).  It was also very plodding in parts.  But that car chase made watching this movie worthwhile, and I can’t wait to try something similar this week with our rental car!

If you’re keeping up with our travel notes, today we’re hopping in our Mustang convertible and driving down the coast, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Jay managed to snag the very last convertible in the state of California (and has also managed to obscure the price paid for such a feat, which I can tell by her squirrelly eyes is phenomenal). With the top down we should be able to taste the salt coming off the Pacific Ocean, all the way to the City of Angels.



18 thoughts on “Bullitt, or How to Travel San Francisco in Style

  1. reocochran

    My girlfriends and I tended to stay all day in movie theaters during cooler weather and we saw Steve McQueen in Bullitt at least 6 times the week it came out. The chase scene is an unforgettable filming iconic event.
    We saw Little Big Man and The Graduate due to Dustin Hoffman. Also saw Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid at least 10 times. (At least their next project, The Sting had a lighter tone in the beautifully done, The Sting. Love that ragtime era music! 🙂 and they worked together a third time in another fantastic movie, All the President’s Men. I watched a much older man show his acting and directing skills when Robert Redford made that Man against the Sea movie which he got an Oscar nomination for in 2014. 🙂
    No silly teen-aged movies like my parents watched nor like my kids watched.
    Our parents didn’t worry since we would put a DIME in the phone to tell them we were going to see it again and would miss dinner. Last but not least, we loved another sad movie, Bonnie and Clyde. I think it is so cool that I still respect those actors, living and deceased.
    Hope you have a blast in your rented convertible! Happy travel mercies! Thanks for the blast from the past. Robin


    1. Jay

      We unfortunately had a huge cock-up with a shady car rental place (stay a away from Sixt) and didn’t get our rental Mustang. Sean missed his own car very much. especially hugging those tight corners, lots of zig-zagging along the coast!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In My Cluttered Attic

    I loved “Bullitt” through and through, but I was lucky enough to see Steve McQueen driving in person, while filming the chase scene. As a boy who wanted to be my idol, getting to see him drive through some of the streets of the City by the Bay was a real hoot. Seeing it up on the big screen when it came out, and getting those butterflies in my stomach as McQueen chased Bill Hickman (an extremely nice guy in person) over the hills of San Francisco was a huge payoff. From the start of the film through those chase scenes across SFO was pure bliss. And Jacqueline Bisset (even more lovely in person) was charming. Yes, I’m probably a wee bit bias. ;o)


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