Bullitt to bedtime


Detective Bullitt spins his tires for the chase.
Image via Wikipedia

There is nothing like a good movie to get your pre-teen boy off to bed. A sleeplessness – brought on by pencil-case swapping anxiety – was causing a few problems with family evening quietude.

Reading was no good. He had already been through Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Roderick Rules and was in no mood to hear my dulcet tones. I was watching nothing in particular on the idiot box when he plonked himself down on the sofa and declaimed that he couldn’t sleep. There was only one thing for it.

I got down my DVD copy of Bullitt (1968). Despite its 15 certificate, there isn’t much here that will cause problems for a 10-year old. The film contains what is probably the best movie car chase of all time. Steve McQueen turns the tables on two mob assassins and pursues them and their Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco  in his Ford Mustang before forcing them off the road and into a petrol station forecourt where they crash and burn.

The grinding of metal and gears and smoke give the chase a visceral reality lacking in many other movie car chases. The editing is top-notch – continuity notwithstanding. The VW Beetle appears several times along the way but fails to detract from the quality of the scene.

By the denouement we were both ready for bed.

If we have the same sleep problems tomorrow it will be time for The Italian Job (1969).

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