The world of dedicated cops, high-speed car chases and adrenalin-pumping action, all started in the year 1968, with the release of the movie Bullitt. It was the movie that changed the way all action movies were going to be filmed from then on. It was also the first to depict one of the all-time best car chases ever caught on celluloid. When you see cast names such as Steve McQueen, Robert Duvall, Vic Tayback, Brandy Carroll, Jacqueline Bisset and Carl Reindel, you know immediately that the movie has to be spectacular.
For those who are unfamiliar with the movie the story follows the work of a police officer named Frank Bullitt. Bullitt and his squad are requested to protect an important witness for a weekend. During the weekend the witness and one of Bullitt’s men are seriously wounded during an assassination attempt, resulting in the witness eventually dying from his injuries. But Bullitt believes that there is more to the incident than meets the eye and goes on a quest for the truth. With his career and the reputation of the police department on the line, Bullitt aggressively starts to investigate the Mafia and their connection to the witness. Of course Bullitt eventually gets his man, but not without a few surprises and twists along the way. Hopefully this short insight into the movie will entice you to watch this memorable movie and find out exactly how it ends.
It isn’t just the convincing story line and gripping action scenes which skyrocketed Bullitt to first place as a ‘legendary action movie’, it is also the unforgettable car chase scene that rocked the world. In the famous car chase scene the team made use of a 1968 Green Ford Mustang GT 390 Fast back for McQueens’ character, Bullitt, and a 1968 Black Dodge Charger RT 440 Magnum. The two muscle cars square off on the streets of San Francisco with screaming tires, growling engines and speeds that put audiences on the edge of their seats. What makes this car chase memorable is the fact that in 1968 special effects were limited and computer generated images were not even thought of yet. What you see on the screen is the real deal. Stunt drivers were called in to drive the most dangerous parts of the sequence. The chase scene ends with an explosion as the criminal’s loose control of their dodge and tumble into a gas station. It is a wild car chase that has never been duplicated and no-one has been able to recapture the fire and excitement of the Bullitt car chase.
The Dodge was left pretty much standard with only its suspension being adjusted to handle the stunts. The engine of the Mustang was not even taken apart once. A few minor parts were replaced due to wear and tear, but it was the driving and not the cars that really caught the public’s eye. A few years after the award-winning movie was released, Ford manufactured a little something of their own to honor the movie “that did it first”: the 2001 Ford Mustang GT “Bullitt Mustang” Limited Edition.