Saturday, April 17, 2010

Best Movie Car Chase Scene Ever

link - warning, the clip is almost eleven minutes long

The very best car chase scene ever is from Bullitt, the probably otherwise lackluster crime drama starring Steve McQueen (Ronin, The French Connection, Smokey and the Bandit, Vanishing Point, Gone in 60 Seconds - all great but not as good). McQueen was reportedly "difficult," because he wanted to control his characters in specific ways. So what. He was cool in an era with so many other cool actors (who could also drive quite well) - Paul Newman, James Dean and James Garner come to mind. He was into realizing his "vision," and brooked no impediments.

At any rate, what brought this on was discovering another blog - The Selvidge Yard. There is an excellent article there about the cars, drivers and other minutiae involved in the famous car chase scenes. Apparently the 'Stangs used for the movie had to be extensively modified to take the abuse, as did the Chargers, but in the end:
“The Charger ran rings around the Mustang. We trimmed the tires down (on the Charger), we practically made them down to bicycle tires to try and handicap Hickman, and Bill just run them.”
Sorry, Ford fans.

Plus, there is an excellent post about Steve McQueen, too. Great read. Actually, the whole site is a fascinating time sucker - it's what I've been doing instead of other, probably far more important things. Oh well.


drjim said...

GREAT find!
At one time I had quite a collection of "Bullitt" and Mustang links. The original 68 Mustang from the movie is still around, although a bit worse for the wear. The guy who has it wanted to sell it to McQueen, but the price was way too high. Last I heard he'd decided to make a "Project Car" out of it with his son.

Jeffro said...

It really belongs in a car museum somewhere. Both the 'Stang and the Charger. I've always been a Chevy guy, but I have to admit to a certain fondness for Ford and Mopar muscle as well.

drjim said...

I had two Mustangs, both with a 289 2-bbl and a C-4 "Cruise-O-Matic". The '67 was mine, and the '68 was my Mom's. I'd *still* like to get a '65 fastback and make a Shelby GT-350 clone, but got too many projects going to even think of starting something like that.
Here's the link to the "Bullitt" website that's considered the finest.

Jeffro said...

OK! I'll be up half the night checking that site out! Heh.

Thanks, drjim - there is certainly a wealth of info there, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

drjim said...

No problem!
I registered with the "Mustang Enthusiast" magazine so I could read the article about the second owner, the Detective from New Jersey. I copied the pages, so if you'd like to read them, I can email them to you.

Jeffro said...

Sure, why not? I'll read it. My email addy is posted on my about me page.

Jerry in Texas said...

Steve McQueen was born in Beech Grove, IN on the southeast side of Indy.

Lucas Rosenzweig said...

It would be terrific to read all those articles, but for now I'm quite satisfied with this chase! It's also quite a treasure trove of classic cars. Don't you just love the sound of that running motor?