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Monday, August 15, 2016


Bullitt - The Chase (part 1)

The Outer Sunset area in San Francisco does not have the kind of terrain you might normally associate with San Francisco. Instead of endless steep hills, it is relatively flat, though the flat is slightly tilted toward the ocean. Noriega street rises 400 feet in 2 miles as it heads east from the coast.
    The streets are laid out in a strict rectangular grid and they are relatively wide. This means you can have a long view down any street in the area. What I found interesting about this is that after I had been there and seen it for myself, I started noticing that it was a popular location for car chase scenes for movies and TV shows.
    So I go looking for such scenes, there must be boatload of 'em on YouTube, right? Well, there might be, but I didn't find any. I did find the chase scene from Bullitt, which was the bestest chase scene ever in the history of the world. It's so good I watched it again, and then I got to wondering who the bad guys are. I mean everybody knows that Steve McQueen plays the hero in this story, but who played the bad guys? Nobody ever mentions them.
    I do a little digging and I find that Paul Genge played Mike, the shooter, and Bill Hickman played Phil, the driver. Never heard of either of these guys, but they both have long resumes on IMDB. They both died about 30 years ago, 20 years after Bullitt. Scott Rollins put together a tribute page for Hickman. He was a big wheel in the stunt driving world.

P.S. While I was rooting around I came across a list of all the movie shooting locations in San Francisco, all movies and TV shows since the beginning of time. It's kind of a long list, and it might be useful for some purposes. It gives the location, but you kind of have to know where that is for it to be of any use.
    Anyway, the interesting part is that it's a spreadsheet and you can muck around with it to your heart's content, right there on the web page, without having to download anything. Pretty cool.

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