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REQUIRED VIEWING “BULLITT” THE GRANDDADDY OF CAR CHASE SCENES
selvedgeyard ^ | September 26, 2009 by JP

Posted on 01/04/2014 11:06:36 AM PST by virgil283

"McQueen was determined to have “the best car chase ever done,” recalls Carey Loftin. “I told Steve I knew a lot about camera angles and speeds to make it look fast....“The Charger ran rings around the Mustang"... In an interview with Motor Trend magazine, Steve McQueen related his desire to bring a high speed chase to the screen. “I always felt a motor racing sequence in the street, a chase in the street, could be very exciting because you have the reality objects to work with, like bouncing off a parked car. An audience digs sitting there watching somebody do something that I’m sure almost all of them would like to do.”...{hat tip FRer : amazed }

(Excerpt) Read more at selvedgeyard.com ...


TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: bullitt; cars
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Max Balchowsky tells us, “I suggested they get a 390 GT. I had suggested using a Mustang, and a Dodge Charger, or else there would be too may Fords in the picture. I thought we’d mix up the cars.” ....

"Before the filming could be done, the Charger and the Mustang required preparation. One of the best wrenchmen in the movie business, Max Balchowsky, recalls the Mustang in particular needed considerable modifications so it could hold up during the relentless beatings it would take during the filming. ...Balchowsky remembers “I hardly had to anything to the Dodge’s engine, but what I was worried about was the strength of the front end.” To shore up the front, Balchowsky revised the torsion bars, beefed up the control arms and added heavy duty shocks.

As with the Mustang, all parts were ‘fluxed. For the rear end, Balchowsky told us, “I got some special rear springs, what you call a high spring rate, a flat without any arch in it, and using that spring the car would stay low. It’s similar to the same springs they use in police cars, which makes a good combination. When the police specify a package, they have more spring here, a little bigger brake there, a little bit more happening in the shocks, and it makes a good car. But the director of BULLITT wanted a brand new car instead of an ex-police car, so I got the springs from a friend at Chrysler. We had to weld reinforcements under the arms and stuff on the Dodge. We did lose a lot of hubcaps on the Charger. We’d put the hubcaps back on, but I suppose it probably would have been better if we had lest them off.”...

“I’ll tell you this,” said Max Balchowsky, “I was really impressed with the Mustang after I got done with it. I didn’t think it’d make that much difference beefing it up. Later, we took both cars out and went playing around with them over by Griffith Park (near Los Angeles). The Dodge, which was practically stock, just left the Mustang like you wouldn’t believe.” Ron Riner has similar recollections. “The Charger ran rings around the Mustang. We trimmed the tires down (on the Charger), we practically made them down to bicycle tires to try and handicap Hickman, and Bill just run them.” Carey Loftin also recalls,” we test ran the car at Griffith Park near the Observatory, up a long hill. and if you can run a car real hard up and down that hill it’s working pretty good.”

“The day before the chase scenes were to be filmed, we went up to Santa Rosa and rented the track,”said Balchowsky. “Steve wanted to test the car. A production manager would have cut your throat if you wanted to do something like that. An accident would have ruined the cars, and we were slated for Monday morning, 6:00 a.m. to start shooting. Hickman and Steve were buzzing around the tracks, and it was pretty even. McQueen and Hickman were both tickled with the cars. So, fortunately everything worked out.”

Generally everyone seemed to agree that the chase went smoothly, although filming went a “little bit slow,” Bud Ekins recalls. “Yates and Steve were particular. You would rehearse it once- it’s got to be choreographed- then you would rehearse it again, and if it looked good, they shot it. You rehearsed at about 1/4 speed or 1/2 speed, then you went in to film it at full speed.”

For the in-car scenes, two camers were mounted in the cars and painted black. The jarring landings after the cars were airborne are the result of the cameras being tightly secured and not cushion mounted. The effect was more than McQueen had bargained for. “It’s a funny thing,” he told Motor Trend. “That was what shocked me and I didn’t expect it, because we were using a 185 frame which is a very small frame. We weren’t even using a big super Panavision or anything. Even on the 185, they (the audience) jumped out of their seats. I didn’t do the shots going down the hill, they pulled me out of the car. Bud Ekins did that.”

In the Motor Trend interview, McQueen recalled there were some close calls and incidents that looked good on film but weren’t exactly planned to happen, some of which occured in the memorable downhill sequences. “Remember that banging going down? That was about 100 mph. I was bangin’ into Bill. My car was disintegrating. Like, the door handles came off, both the shocks in the front broke, the steering armature on the right front side broke and my slack was about a foot and a half. The Mustang was really just starting to fall apart.”...

One particular scene that impressed Max Balchowsky was the gunman in the Dodge firing a shotgun blast at the pursuing Mustang that shatters the right front of the windshield. “The guy who did special effects devised the chain balls that bust the Mustang windshield. I thought it was terrific when the guy whips the shotgun out and the way the special effects fellow devised how those pebbles cracked the windshield and it made it so realistic like he really shot the windshield. It sure made Ford glass look good.”....

1 posted on 01/04/2014 11:06:37 AM PST by virgil283
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To: virgil283

It appears really that the fastest car in the clip was that Volkswagen beetle that was in several scenes, always parked at the curb but always ahead of both cars.


2 posted on 01/04/2014 11:10:21 AM PST by Enten (I don't have islamophobia...I do have islamonausea)
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To: virgil283

Watching it, I could feel it in the pit of my stomach as the cars chased each other up and down the hilly streets of S.F.

They nailed the chase scenes so well everyone I know gets queasy.


3 posted on 01/04/2014 11:10:36 AM PST by Para-Ord.45 ( Americans, happy in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own dictators.)
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To: virgil283
THIS is The Best Car Chase EVER.
4 posted on 01/04/2014 11:11:30 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Enten

I ued to own a 440 powered Road Runner.No Mustang ever gave me a decent race,ever.


5 posted on 01/04/2014 11:13:05 AM PST by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: virgil283
Steve wanted to test the car.

I bet he did...

6 posted on 01/04/2014 11:14:15 AM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: virgil283

Put that sucker on a big screen. Then get your brain in the place where you are looking out on the street like you are in the car.
Guaranteed you will be bracing yourself as you crest the hills and corners.
Lot’s of fun to drive some of the hills in Pacific Heights with an unsuspecting passenger, and get a little reduction in g force as you pop over a hill!!


7 posted on 01/04/2014 11:14:54 AM PST by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Raising Arizona had several awesome chase scenes but the best was the Huggies scene.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82432008


8 posted on 01/04/2014 11:15:00 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: virgil283

:: The Charger ran rings around the Mustang ::

But...it started to rain and we couldn’t get the ignition on the MoPar engine to engage.


9 posted on 01/04/2014 11:23:18 AM PST by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations: The acronym defines the science.)
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To: virgil283

The chase scene in “Bullitt” is a great one - “Ronin” and “To Live and Die in L.A.” have excellent chases, too.


10 posted on 01/04/2014 11:23:58 AM PST by dainbramaged (Windage and elevation, Mrs. Langdon; windage and elevation.)
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To: dainbramaged

Car chase scene in the SEVEN UPS

Note: The scene where car smashes into the rear of the truck was real

Also car cahse in FRENCH CONNECTION......


11 posted on 01/04/2014 11:26:48 AM PST by njslim (St)
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To: virgil283
Simply the best.
12 posted on 01/04/2014 11:28:32 AM PST by quadrant (1o)
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To: cripplecreek

That is as accurate a depiction of Arizona’s gun culture as I have seen.


13 posted on 01/04/2014 11:32:15 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: njslim
Car chase scene in the SEVEN UPS

Note: The scene where car smashes into the rear of the truck was real

Also car chase in FRENCH CONNECTION......

Seven Ups: 1973.
French Connection: 1971.
Bullitt: 1968.

Also as far as coolness factor: McQueen by a mile.

Hackman's not bad, but comes in second.

Roy Scheider? Nah.

14 posted on 01/04/2014 11:39:29 AM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: All; virgil283

Some Saturday morning “eye candy” for classic American hot rod and custom car lovers:
(WARNING: OVER 200 PICS)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3108252/posts


15 posted on 01/04/2014 11:40:42 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: virgil283

Best car chase scene from the movie, “Short Time”(1990) with Dabney Coleman. Filmed in Seattle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE2i08S3YeY


16 posted on 01/04/2014 11:43:33 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: njslim; virgil283
The Seven Ups, worthy of honorable mention here. The Pontiac Ventura smashes into the back end of the semi at the Millwood exit on the Taconic Pkwy, one inaccuracy, trucks are not allowed on the parkways around NYC. I had a 68 Charger, for a mostly stock 318 it would haul a$$.
17 posted on 01/04/2014 11:44:26 AM PST by Impala64ssa (You call me an islamophobe like it's a bad thing.)
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To: virgil283
Max Balchowsky

Does that name ring a bell? He is brains behind the home-made sports-car "Ole' Yeller" that was a quasi-skunk-works for Buick performance stuff and won many a race and was loved for it's underdog status.

Also I hear 2 Mustangs were tricked out for the movie, one was such toast afterwards they sent it to the crusher. The other survived and was bought by a studio guy who sold it to someone in KY or TN and only a few Mustang reporter types know exactly where it is, as they are sworn to secrecy. The owner is supposedly restoring it with his teen-age kid and the auto world re-awaits it emerging from obscurity... someday...

18 posted on 01/04/2014 11:45:38 AM PST by taildragger (The E-GOP won't know what hit them, The Party of Reagan is almost here, hang tight folks....)
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To: njslim

Oh yeah, also Bullitt had Jackie Bisset, as beautiful as a mirage.

What did T7U or TFC have? Zip.


19 posted on 01/04/2014 11:46:35 AM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel
But...it started to rain and we couldn’t get the ignition on the MoPar engine to engage.
Had a Charger and a Dodge van, same thing. The ballast resistor on the firewall would crap out from time to time. Had to carry a spare in the glovebox. Common problem with old Chryslers.
20 posted on 01/04/2014 11:47:28 AM PST by Impala64ssa (You call me an islamophobe like it's a bad thing.)
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To: virgil283
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

21 posted on 01/04/2014 11:47:40 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: virgil283

I always loved that black Charger. Only decent MOPAR I can remember. Mustangs were just Falcons with V8s.


22 posted on 01/04/2014 11:48:31 AM PST by ozzymandus
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To: virgil283
Where were you in 1968? You might have opened up the movie section of the newspaper ...
I might have, but I feckin' doubt it. I was in VN!
23 posted on 01/04/2014 11:50:11 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: dainbramaged

‘Ronin’ rocked


24 posted on 01/04/2014 11:51:26 AM PST by TomServo
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To: oh8eleven

LOL!


25 posted on 01/04/2014 11:52:02 AM PST by OwenKellogg (Fundamental transformation sucks.)
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To: oh8eleven
Where were you in 1968? You might have opened up the movie section of the newspaper ... I might have, but I feckin' doubt it. I was in VN!

Steely: Thanks a lot man. I'm glad you can laugh about it!

oh8eleven: Who's laughing, d***face?

26 posted on 01/04/2014 11:52:34 AM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: virgil283

Loved this car chase scene. Miss the days of the great cars! Back in the day, I owned a ‘74 Challenger and then a ‘73 Firebird. It was all about the cars back then.


27 posted on 01/04/2014 11:52:44 AM PST by Tired of Taxes
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To: virgil283

One of my all time favorite movies...Bullitt.

Others:
Day of the Jackal...outstanding suspense & views of France
North by Northwest,...Hitchcocks best, precursor of 007
A fish called Wanda,...fast moving comedy
Von Ryan’s Express...Sinatra’s WWII flick suspense galore
It’s a Mad Mad Mad World...best comedy film of all time
The French Connection...Must see story of cops/drug smuggling
and all Bond films with Sean Connery as 007


28 posted on 01/04/2014 11:53:34 AM PST by entropy12 (Great republics wither when more people figure out they can get free stuff by electing socialists.)
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To: virgil283
A 2008 version of the car...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

29 posted on 01/04/2014 11:55:10 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: virgil283

bump


30 posted on 01/04/2014 11:55:29 AM PST by real saxophonist (The revolution will not be televised. Everything else will.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
'Short Time' with Dabney Coleman ...you are so right ...what a great movie...
31 posted on 01/04/2014 12:00:05 PM PST by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: oh8eleven

Great post!


32 posted on 01/04/2014 12:04:37 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Para-Ord.45
It was a Great Flic. I was there before I went across pond and my Great Uncles family gave me a great tour. Strange place even then, my old Man loved the place after he graduated from UU in 1937 and went to work for GM.
33 posted on 01/04/2014 12:06:07 PM PST by Little Bill
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To: oh8eleven
OMG, I never noticed the professors name in "back to school" before. Obviously a reference to Colonel "Buck" Turgeson from "dr. strangelove"

CC

34 posted on 01/04/2014 12:09:12 PM PST by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: njslim
Car chase scene in the SEVEN UPS
Forgot about that one, just cued up my DVD of it and the driver of the '73 Pontiac Grand Ville being chased by Roy Scheider (in a Nova-like Pontiac Ventura) is the same guy in the "Bullitt" chase scene, Bill Hickman. He's pretty legendary and also drove in the "French Connection".
35 posted on 01/04/2014 12:12:38 PM PST by dainbramaged (Windage and elevation, Mrs. Langdon; windage and elevation.)
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To: virgil283

IMHO, Ronin’s was better.


36 posted on 01/04/2014 12:13:17 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: virgil283

Anyone remember the opening scene on top of that hi-rise apartment with the dead blonde floating in the water? Name that woman.


37 posted on 01/04/2014 12:14:34 PM PST by Zuben Elgenubi (NOPe to GOPe)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
Anyone remember the opening scene on top of that hi-rise apartment with the dead blonde floating in the water? Name that woman.

Chrissy?

38 posted on 01/04/2014 12:16:19 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: virgil283

Some great car chase scenes in The Wraith with Charlie WINNING! Sheen.

Campy as hell, enough made up/asinine gearhead talk to make a guy barf...but some cool car chases.


39 posted on 01/04/2014 12:17:11 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Impala64ssa
I've owned 2 motorhomes with chrysler cabs that were famous for blowing those ballast resistors at the most inopportune times. I kept the appropriate tools and 2 or 3 spare ballast resistors in the glovebox at all times. IIRC, both cabs were 1978's. Other than that little quirk, they seemed to be good running motors. Both were LA series Chrysler V8s. one was a 340 and the other was a 360.

CC

40 posted on 01/04/2014 12:19:04 PM PST by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: Celtic Conservative
Obviously a reference to Colonel "Buck" Turgeson from "dr. strangelove"
Good catch ... I never associated the two names.
41 posted on 01/04/2014 12:19:13 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Steely Tom

Bingo


42 posted on 01/04/2014 12:22:36 PM PST by Zuben Elgenubi (NOPe to GOPe)
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To: ETL

Ahhhh,

The classic Mustang wheel-hop scene.....

Snicker!


43 posted on 01/04/2014 12:23:06 PM PST by Sixpackplymouth
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To: oh8eleven
Yeah, except that the Dr. Strangelove character's surname is Turgidson, not Turgeson.
44 posted on 01/04/2014 12:24:07 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: virgil283
1973 version of Gone in 69 Seconds beats them all.
45 posted on 01/04/2014 12:36:04 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Sixpackplymouth
Mustang wheel-hop....HaHaHa yeah Mustang wheelhop...no...wait my Camero did the same thing....dang it....{and those stupid Bias-ply tires that kept me sliding of the road during every rain} Supid..Supid...Supid......
46 posted on 01/04/2014 12:41:40 PM PST by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
That's interesting, isn't it. Susanne Somers was born in 1946, so when Bullitt was made she would have been 22. Then, she's in a few movies (list here), but it's not until Three's Company starts in 1977 that she gets her big payday.

What's interesting is that there are lots of blonde babes running around L.A. with aspirations to be an actress. How is it that luck favors Ms. Somers?

My guess: hard work, always showing up on time ready to work, and taking any part that comes along.

Maybe I'm naïve though.

47 posted on 01/04/2014 12:45:00 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: virgil283

The chase in Jack Reacher, although lacking in visuals by today’s standards (no CGI), makes up for it with the superb sound work. You can hear the valves clattering on that 454.


48 posted on 01/04/2014 12:49:48 PM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Steely Tom

Ah ha, so that’s why I never associated the two!


49 posted on 01/04/2014 12:51:56 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: virgil283

i knew Max and his wife in the early and mid 50s when i was into hot rodding and street racing.

I used to hang out some times late at night at their shop since they only worked nights.

Never saw them after 58 when I got married and gave up the speed shop and the racing scene and got to work making a living in the construction business.

The only thing I did after that was build a Cobra with a 429 for dennis Wilson to go drag racing in 1966.


50 posted on 01/04/2014 1:04:36 PM PST by dalereed
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