Peter Yates’s police drama Bullitt (1968) is poorly written in several ways but is engrossing nonetheless. It has to do with killers and witness protection, and it contains enjoyable action, but it’s a mostly quiet film. Proceedings are quiet, as they frequently are in life. Only now and then do people get noisy. Correlatively, the hero—Steve McQueen’s Frank Bullitt—is a loner.
Also, it’s a profoundly American film. The manly loner lives in a place of obvious, nonstop manufacturing, of urban construction and extensive roads. He has an English girlfriend, however, played by Jacqueline Bisset, whose celebrated beauty is another reason Bullitt is worth seeing.
It beats me why Frank Bullitt isn’t a better protector of his witness, but this movie is fun and interesting in spite of itself.