Tags: Hollywood | steve mcqueen | role | frank bullitt | iconic

Steve McQueen as Frank Bullitt: 10 Quotes About Iconic Role

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 06:04 PM

The most iconic Steve McQueen role of all time goes to “Bullitt.” That’s the consensus it seems among critics, fans, and even fashionista blogs. And according to one fan site dedicated to the actor, Frank Bullitt was also McQueen’s favorite role.

While other films like “The Great Escape,” Oscar-winning “The Magnificent Seven,” and “Papillon” may top many a McQueen-favorites lists, “Bullitt” is the film that made the King of Cool, well, the King of Cool.

Frank Bullitt was McQueen’s iconic role, his biographers and reviewers say. The movie was a series of firsts that took audiences on never-before-seen thrilling rides. The high-speed chase scene through San Francisco — driven in part by the daredevil McQueen — was the first of its kind; so was the live sound during the 11-minute scene.

Those who worked on the set of “Bullitt” said the film appealed to McQueen’s real-life need for action, speed, and risk. In one scene, McQueen ran under a Boeing 727 as it began takeoff, dodging the wheels. The actor then lay on the runway beneath the moving jet, recalled cameraman William Fraker.

Vote Now: Who Is Your Favorite Actor of All Time?

McQueen’s Bullitt also embodied the picture of casual cool in 1968, with the signature rolled neck sweater and tweed jacket.

Here are 10 quotes about McQueen’s role in “Bullitt” from critics, co-workers and co-stars:

1. “McQueen was a bomb as Thomas Crown, for example, because the character clashed with McQueen's own personality. But McQueen is great in "Bullitt," and the movie is great, because director Peter Yates understands the McQueen image and works within it. He winds up with about the best action movie of recent years.”
Roger Ebert

2. “What’s cooler than escaping the Nazis while riding a TT Special 650 Triumph motorcycle? How about eluding hit men in an epic chase scene driving a 1968 Mustang GT 390 Fastback? Since his passing Ford has sold two separate Mustang “Bullitt” editions as well as created two commercials using the likeness of McQueen’s Bullitt to sell their cars. Forget character, Bullitt’s an icon!”
Jason Marcewicz, Movie FanFare, on making the case why Frank Bullitt is Steve McQueen's most iconic role

3. “Bullitt is worth repeated viewings for more than just its most famous sequence. A precursor to the explosive action movies of the '80s and '90s, the film brought a modern, technically advanced style to the tough detective movies of a generation before. And Steve McQueen's portrayal of the taciturn, mistrusting police lieutenant is considered one of his best and certainly most iconic.”
Rob Nixon, Turner Classic Movies

4. "I was in the back of the Mustang and Steve was going about 120 mph. We came to the last downhill section and when we got to the top of the hill Steve was still going pretty fast. I tapped him on the shoulder and said: 'We can slow down now, we're almost out of film.' Steve said very calmly: 'We can't. There aren't any brakes.'"
Peter Yates, director of "Bullitt," recounting one day of filming, according to The Telegraph 

5. “Slick, stylish, and ineffably cool, this was perhaps McQueen’s defining role.”
Clark Collis, Empire magazine

6. “A terrific movie, just right for Steve McQueen -- fast, well-acted, written the way people talk. … McQueen simply gets better all the time.”
Renata Adler, The New York Times

7. “You’re doin’ too much, man. … Let the camera do it all.”
Steve McQueen, giving advice to "Bullitt" co-star Robert Vaughn, who was having trouble playing a scene

8. "He had the coolest way of doing the most mundane things."
Lawrence Kasdan, film director, said of McQueen's performance in “Bullitt”

9.  “You had to give Steve something physical to involve himself in — machinery or horses. I asked (the producers) whether they realized that if you drove a car like a Mustang down those hills it will take off. McQueen went ballistic with excitement and made it known right then that he wanted to drive some of it himself.”
Alan Trustman, writer of “Bullitt.” Trustman said the famous 11-minute car chase was not in the original script. When San Francisco was chosen as the film’s location, however, the producers asked Trustman to add the scene, according to the Daily Mail.

10. “Steve never showed any fear at all, he always had his act together.”
William Fraker, cameraman for “Bullitt”

Vote Now: Which of These Actors Stands the Test of Time?

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The most iconic Steve McQueen role of all time goes to “Bullitt.” That’s the consensus it seems among critics, fans, and even fashionista blogs. And according to one fan site dedicated to the actor, Frank Bullitt was also Steve McQueen’s favorite role.
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