Bullitt: Peter Yates on Directing Steve McQueen

Disc 1:
Commentary by Director Peter Yates
Theatrical Trailer

Disc 2:
Two Feature-Length Documentaries:
. The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing, narrated by Kathy Bates.
. Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool From filmmaker Mimi Freedman, this all-new documentary uncovers the complex man behind the image by watching McQueens life and career through the eyes of the people who knew him best and extensive use of film and television clips.
. Vintage Featurette: Bullitt: Steve McQueens Commitment to Reality

DVD Collection

Hollywoods “rebel” and screen legend that defined cool like no other actor–arrived on DVD June 7, 2005 in “The Essential Steve McQueen Collection.” The Collection includes a newly remastered Two-Disc Special Edition DVD of “Bullitt,” with three documentaries including the DVD debuts of “The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing,” a fascinating look at the art of film editing, featuring award-winning directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott; and “Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool,” a new documentary premiering June 1 on Turner Classic Movies with interviews from Neile Adams (McQueens first wife), Richard Attenborough, Norman Jewison, Chad McQueen (his son), Peter Yates, Barbara Minty (McQueens widow), and others.

The five other films included in the collection are: “The Getaway,” “Papillon,” and new-to-DVD titles “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Never So Few,” and “Tom Horn.” DVD special features include perceptive commentaries from directors Norman Jewison and Peter Yates, archival footage and new and vintage documentaries. The seven-disc boxed set is available for $68.92 SRP. The films are also available individually for $19.97 SRP while the “Bullitt: Two-Disc Special Edition” will sell for $26.99.

Film Review

In one of his most famous roles, Steve McQueen stars as tough-guy police detective Frank Bullitt, assigned for 48 hours to watch a witness before his trial. However, when the witness and another officer are shot, Bullitt decides to investigate the case on his own, much to the dismay of an ambitious Senator (Robert Vaughn), who wants to shut the investigation down, hindering Bullitts plan to bring the killers to justice.

Directed by Peter Yates (it’s his best work), “Bullitt” put Steve McQueen at the forefront of American movie stars, a position he held for almost a decade.

Robert Duvall, in a small part of a cab driver, seen through a rear-view mirror, and the young and beautiful Jacqueline Bisset, as McQueen’s love interest Cathy, also appear in the film. But it’s pretty much McQueen’s sole show, a brilliant vehicle that updates Bogart’s genre works of the 1940s.

“Bullitt” contains one of the most exciting car chases in film history, a sequence that revolutionized Hollywood’s standards. Chasing the hoodlums, McQueen drives up and down the hills of San Francisco, while an impressive hand-held camera records the perilous pursuit and traffic in thrilling minutia detail, as McQueen narrowly misses all kinds of barriers: intersecting cars and trucks, pedestrians, buildings, and so on.

Oscar Alert

“Bullitt” was nominated for two technical Oscars, winning for Best Editing, by Frank P. Keller. The other nomination for Best Sound, orchestrated by Warner Bros-Seven Studio Sound Department; the winner was the musical “Oliver!”

McQueen’s Career

Steve McQueen first began acting in 1952, when he enrolled at Sanford Meisners Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. After making an impression in a number of small off-Broadway productions, McQueen was accepted into the Actors Studio. In 1956, he made his film debut with a bit part in “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” alongside Paul Newman.

Two years later, McQueen scored his first starring role in the sci-fi cult film “The Blob.” But it was his role in the television series “Wanted: Dead or Alive” that brought him to stardom. McQueen soon became one of Hollywoods most bankable leading men, starring in a long string of box-office successes, which included, in addition to the titles in the Collection, “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Great Escape,” and “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

In 1966, McQueen was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his outstanding portrayal of a cynical sailor in “The Sand Pebbles” (the winner was Paul Scofield in “Man for All seasons”).

During the next decade, McQueen starred in numerous films, achieving varying degrees of commercial success. After 1978, McQueen appeared in only two more films before taking ill with an aggressive form of lung cancer. He died of a heart attack at the age of 50 shortly after undergoing lung surgery.