The “Bullitt Car Chase” Scene
The “Bullit” Scene (Great Description): Where were you in 1968? You might have opened up the movie section of the newspaper and read a review about the newly released movie BULLITT. One such review, by the National Observer, said, ” Whatever you have heard about the auto chase scene in BULLITT is probably true…a terrifying, deafening shocker.” Life magazine wrote, “… a crime flick with a taste of genius…an action sequence that must be compared to the best in film history.”With reviews like that, and sharing double billing with the hit BONNIE AND CLYDE, BULLITT devastated audiences with incredible scenes of leaping, screaming automobiles that seemed to fly off the screen. Among all of Hollywood’s road movies, BULLITT unquestionably made film history with its original car chase sequences. There may have been chase scenes before, but nothing before or since has equalled the intensity and impact of BULLITT. The scenes, which were novelty then but classic now, were brilliantly executed. Over the years, fans have asked questions about the two cars used in the movie, a 1968 Dodge Charger and a 1968 Mustang GT. Of all the musclecars offered in the late sixties, why were these two cars chosen, and how were they modified to survive the torturous driving?
It’s been 19 years since BULLITT was filmed, however the magic of this special movie has not diminished. We questioned some of the crew who participated in the filming, and asked them how the chase was coordinated and shot, who was involved in the chase scenes and what happened during the filming. Steve McQueen and director Peter Yates brought in some of the best names in the business in preparation for the filming of BULLITT’s chase scenes, and we were able to track some of them down. We interviewed Carey Loftin, stunt coordinator for BULLITT and occasional driver of the BULLITT Mustang; Bud Elkins, the main stunt driver of the Mustang, aside from McQueen; and Loren Janes, who had doubled for McQueen for nearly 20 years and stunted for McQueen during the airport sequence at the end of the film. We also interviewed Max Balchowsky, the man responsible for maintaining the Mustang GT and the Charger throughout the filming. Finally, we spoke with Ron Riner, who acted as transportation coordinator for Warner Brothers on the BULLITT set….. Keep Reading
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