Steve McQueen’s Famous Car Chase In “Bullitt” from 1968

The Peter Yates-directed “Bullitt” is such a great film, and no wonder the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Heck, the car chase scene took intensity to a place of excitement still not seen, even by today’s “Fast And The Furious” standards.

Yates called for maximum speeds of about 75–80 miles per hour (121–129 km/h), but the cars (including the chase cars filming) at times reached speeds of over 110 miles per hour (180 km/h). Filming took three weeks, resulting in 9 minutes and 42 seconds of pursuit, first of Bullitt by the hitmen then the reverse. Because of multiple takes spliced into a single end product, heavy damage on the passenger side of Bullitt’s car can be seen much earlier than the incident producing it and the Charger loses five wheel covers, with different ones missing in different shots.