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Best San Francisco Movie San Francisco 2001 - Bullitt (1968)

For anyone whose first exposure to San Francisco was during the 1960s, Bullitt is irresistibly evocative. Steve McQueen, the coolest star of the decade, plays a maverick cop who bucks the system, favors paisley pajamas, and resides in a mod one-bedroom apartment at Taylor and Clay. (His girlfriend is miniskirted Jacqueline Bisset, an import, obviously, from swinging London.) At the film's center is the Chase Scene, a still-unmatched dazzler in which McQueen and his Mustang pursue their quarry up and over Russian Hill at breakneck speed. The vintage glimpses of our fair city a few months past the Summer of Love are equally bewitching, however: Enrico's when it still had something to do with the great Banducci of the title; Coffee Cantata, a hip enclave of flutists, bass players, and pinot noir; the extant corner grocery where McQueen stocks up on his TV dinners; and the old Lawrence Halprin Associates building at the base of Telegraph Hill, where McQueen examines a model of the upcoming Vaillancourt Fountain (Bisset's murmured "Ugly, isn't it?" drew a roar of approval at a recent Castro Theater revival). With its goofy camera angles, flashy editing, garish sideburns, and moody jazz score, this is one hip celluloid time capsule.
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