Steve McQueen's Car Chase In 'Bullitt' Set The Standard For All That Followed

By Rebeka Knott
Steve McQueen burning rubber in 'Bullit' (1968). Source: IMDB

Every movie car chase has to be compared to Steve McQueen's car chase in Bullitt (1968). In the film, a '68 Mustang GT fastback driven by McQueen runs wild in the streets of hilly San Francisco, chasing and being chased by a '68 Dodge Charger. The chase lasts over 10 minutes, and for muscle car fans and regular folks it's a mesmerizing sequence. It just keeps going, and going, and going. For a semi-professional race car driver like Steve McQueen, the car chase in Bullitt was more than just an action scene -- it was a statement. McQueen couldn't make a car chase scene that was anything less than definitive. He just couldn't.

McQueen, also known as the “King of Cool,” starred in the 1968 box office hit movie, “Bullitt,” which had us all sitting on the edge of our seats. McQueen’s personality depicted the very essence of what was so popular with young people at the height of the counterculture revolution. He was seen as a hero of sorts but was unconventional in his tactics to accomplish his mission.