AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know we are moving on a tangent away from the origonal post...but the subject is such an interesting one.
The name of the stunt driver that you can't remember is Bill Hickman. he drove the black Charger in Bullitt. he was also the primary stunt driver in the movie The Seven Ups.
The other great stunt driver that was used in Bullitt who we never see was Cary Loftin who is by many considered the finest stunt driver in the world. He did the driving on so many movies. Movies like Vanishing Point, Smokey and the Bandit and so many more. If a movie has a car chase in it, look for his name in the final credits...it will usually be there.
Most people think that Steve McQueen did all of his driving and that is not true. It did about 70% of it. What he didn't do were the jumps,the final scene where the Mustang goes into a long skid and finally stops and the launching of the Charger into the desert gas station. These were done by the afore mentioned Cary Loftin (he also is driving the motorcycle that "lays down" in front of the Mustang which driven by McQueen is doing over 70 mph)
Many people feel that the chase in Bullitt was the finest because it used no photographic tricks of any kind. No sped up film to make slow moving cars seem like they are going faster, etc. All the action was in real time. The cars when they were banging into each other were doing that stunt at almost 100 mph.
When both cars were "jumping" the hills of SF, speeds approached 50 mph and neither car had special suspension mods with the exception of HD shocks and springs that anyone could order in 1968.
Just a trivia fact...the Charger had a 440 c.i. engine while the Mustang had a 390 c.i. engine. Also, in the scene when McQueen looses control of the Mustang and goes "into the dirt" the true story of what happened, is that he totaled the Mustang forcing the movie production to go to the backup car.
The chase scene from The French Connection was truly an experience for the movie viewer because most of it was from the point of heading into traffic (going the wrong way) which is probably any motorists worst nightmare and why it was so effective. But ALL of the cars in the chase scene are driven by stunt drivers, not just the Pontiac that Hickman is driving. Every foot of the chase was coregraphed like a fine ballet. Not so with Bullitt.
Bullitt was a case of taking two factory hot rods that anyone could buy in 1968 and pushing them WAY past what the factory intended for their use.
Bullitt was the first. Every other movie to use the car chase is either trying to copy it, top it (never done in my personal estimation) or pay homage to it.