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Face-Off: Frank Bullitt vs. The Driver

Aug. 29, 2013by: Indiana Sev
In last weeks Face-Off, MAN OF STEEL got its super-ass handed to it by BATMAN BEGINS in an overwhelming decision that favored the latter as the better movie. Superman will get a chance at revenge in 2015 when Henry Cavill goes cape to cape with Affleck in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN.

In this weeks installment, we turn our attention to Ethan Hawke's GETAWAY opening this Friday. This movie made me think of fast cars and also about Steve McQueens 1972 classic THE GETAWAY. McQueen made me think of cool movie characters of which hes played many. I decided his iconic character Frank Bullitt from BULLITT (which features one of cinemas most famous car chase sequences) should go head to head with another cool movie character with a need for speed. So, whos it going to be? Will it be Dominic Toretto from THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, Jimmy Popeye Doyle from THE FRENCH CONNECTION or Frank Martin from THE TRANSPORTER? I decided to go with one of the coolest characters weve seen in years and chose Ryan Goslings The Driver from DRIVE.

Sharp-Dressed Man
A truly memorable character owes a lot to the way he looks in the movie. Being cool is only half the trick because you have to dress cool too. Detective Frank Bullitt gets a lot pissed off about halfway through the movie and sheds his suit and tie for a blue turtleneck. Thats right - a blue turtleneck! Now, I cant pull a turtleneck off and chances are you cant pull a turtleneck off either. The reason why is because nobody can look cool in a turtleneck...ever.

But somehow, someway, when Bullitt puts it on he becomes cooler than in the first half of the movie and a real force to be reckoned with the rest of the way through. But the real transformation takes place when he slides his holster over the t-neck and you finally realize that you are in the presence of a real man and the best cop in the city by the bay.
So thats it, right? Nobody can beat a guy that can pull off a t-neck and holster so why even bother? Well, The Driver has a unique look of his own and it consists of a shiny silvery jacket with a yellow scorpion embroidered on its back, brown leather driving gloves and a toothpick hanging out of his mouth. I tried this last week at a club I go to and I didnt last 5 minutes in the place.

Once again, somehow, someway, The Driver not only pulls this look off but looks sharp in the process. His jacket takes a beating (as does he) in the movie and the more ragged, dirty and bloody it gets, the more he insists on leaving it on. You know why? Its because it makes him look so cool and its a part of who he is. Oh yeah, this is definitely a tie.
The Name
Indiana is a cool name but compared to Frank Bullitt I may as well be called Smurf. Frank Bullitt is probably the second coolest name in cinema after John Shaft. In fact, the only non-fictional name cooler than Frank Bullitt is Steve McQueen. No matter how you look at it, Frank Bullitt is a name that will forever be synonymous with being a cool, uncompromising badass and thats how well always remember both the actor and the character he played.
I just said there is no name cooler than Frank Bullitt so I shouldnt even bother going forward in this category, right? Well, there is one that comes close and that is having no name at all! Goslings character is so mysterious and slick that he is only known by his profession The Driver. I thought this category was going to be an easy one but I just cant dismiss a character so deep, dark and dangerous that he is above even being branded with a Christian name. Whether he is called The Driver, The Mechanic or The Stuntman, this cool cat has just earned himself another tie.
The Drive
Frank Bullitt turns the tables on the bad guys and goes from being the chasee to being the chaser. What follows is a close to ten-minute romp through the streets of San Francisco. Sadly, this legendary chase sequence is the only time we actually witness Bullitt showing off his driving skills so he loses a few points for that. Where he gains points is by remaining virtually expressionless throughout the intense chase and by winning it as he watches the bad guys explode in a ball of fire. McQueen's speed was also featured in movies like THE GREAT ESCAPE and LE MANS but those exploits are not admissible in this category. Still, this chase sequence became a part of movie history and set the tone for all future car chases on the silver screen. The man behind the wheel of that car was Frank Bullitt.
The Driver can drive...and drive well. He has it down to a science and its engrained in his DNA. He repairs cars, he crashes stunt cars in Hollywood movies and he is a professional getaway driver for hire. He is cool and calculating and never comes in second. Perhaps thats where the problem lies. The Driver is a much better driver than Frank Bullitt but he doesnt have nearly the same excitement and recklessness that Bullitt has and in the movies those two elements keep the audience on the edge of their seats. I hated to have to pick a winner in this category but it looks like The Driver finally comes in second to the cop from Fog City.
Quotes
1) Walter Chalmers: Frank, we must all compromise.

Bullitt: Bullshit.

2) Bullitt: "Look, Chalmers, let's understand each other... I don't like you."

3) Cathy (his girlfriend): "What will happen to us, in time?"

Bullitt: "Time starts now."
1) Driver: [on the phone with Irene] "Can I talk to you? I won't keep you long. I have to go somewhere and I don't think I can come back. But I just wanted you to know. Getting to be around you and Benicio was the best thing that ever happened to me."

2) Driver: "How 'bout this. You shut your mouth. Or I'll kick your teeth down your throat and I'll shut it for you."

3) Driver: "Now, you just got a little boy's father killed. And you almost got us killed. And now you're lying to me. So how about this? From now on, every word out of your mouth is the truth. Or I'm going to hurt you."
Tiebreaker
He's super cool, he's relentless and he plays by his own rules. He can drive a car really fast and barely break a sweat. Hell, he can wear a turtleneck and barely break a sweat! He's Frank Bullitt and although we love him and we want to be him, the character is left being a little too one-dimensional for us to really figure him out or even identify with him, just a little.
Like the lyrics to the song 'A Real Hero' which plays a couple of times in the movie, The Driver ends up becoming"...a real human being, and a real hero." Considering he is kind of a "bad guy" to begin with this transformation and journey has much more meaning and resonance by the end of the film. Add to that the romance of the elevator kiss and his life-risking exploits all for the name of love and you have a much more well-rounded character than Frank Bullitt and one you can truly care for in the end.
The Driver
I'd like to go on record and say that Steve McQueen is my favorite actor. I was hoping Frank Bullitt would win this face-off outright but when I weighed in all the factors, this one character of his fell just a little short against The Driver. Now if ever Steve McQueen the actor faces off against someone in this column, well, it won't really be as close of a race. That being said, much respect goes out to Ryan Gosling, fellow Canadian and one hell of an actor. Gosling has been consistently choosing good roles, smart roles and real macho roles that McQueen made famous back in the 60s and 70s. Nobody can or will ever be like Steve McQueen but if Gosling keeps up this pace, he can be one of the few that came awfully damn close.

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+3
6:14PM on 08/30/2013

Pay attention to the actual FACE-OFF opponents

Just a head's up to all who are saying that BULLITT is a better movie than DRIVE or that McQueen is a better actor than Gosling, etc... That's all fine and good....but this FACE-OFF is between the "characters" of Frank Bullitt vs The Driver. There's a big difference, actually.
Just a head's up to all who are saying that BULLITT is a better movie than DRIVE or that McQueen is a better actor than Gosling, etc... That's all fine and good....but this FACE-OFF is between the "characters" of Frank Bullitt vs The Driver. There's a big difference, actually.
Your Reply:



6:14AM on 08/31/2013
*facepalm
*facepalm
+0
2:57PM on 08/30/2013
Bullitt is Legendary...
I dig Drive, i dig Gosling.. but you are soo out to lunch on this one..
Comparing McQueen to Gosling? and Drive to Bullitt? Neither should even be put in the same sentence as together.. Unless to say that Drive should not be in the same sentence as Bullitt..

To be honest, this article just lowered your credibility a lot... at least to me..
Bullitt is Legendary...
I dig Drive, i dig Gosling.. but you are soo out to lunch on this one..
Comparing McQueen to Gosling? and Drive to Bullitt? Neither should even be put in the same sentence as together.. Unless to say that Drive should not be in the same sentence as Bullitt..

To be honest, this article just lowered your credibility a lot... at least to me..
Your Reply:



11:59PM on 08/29/2013

Right choice...

Just because something is older def doesn't mean is better. I personally don't like Steve Mcqueen , but I thought the Driver was bad ass. I think some people say they like Steve Mcqueen cuz it's supposed to be cool and they hate on Gosling for the same reason, but Goslings made some solid films lately.
Just because something is older def doesn't mean is better. I personally don't like Steve Mcqueen , but I thought the Driver was bad ass. I think some people say they like Steve Mcqueen cuz it's supposed to be cool and they hate on Gosling for the same reason, but Goslings made some solid films lately.
Your Reply:



10:08PM on 08/29/2013

Bullshit!

It the contest was who can stare at the wall like a retard the longest, the driver wins hands down. In every other category McQueen wipes the floor with him (he was a student of Bruce Lee's for fuck's sake) BULLITT invented the car chase. The Driver invented staring and holding shots way too long, not to mention it had the dumbest lead character since Forest Gump.
It the contest was who can stare at the wall like a retard the longest, the driver wins hands down. In every other category McQueen wipes the floor with him (he was a student of Bruce Lee's for fuck's sake) BULLITT invented the car chase. The Driver invented staring and holding shots way too long, not to mention it had the dumbest lead character since Forest Gump.
Your Reply:



6:18PM on 08/29/2013

"You sell whatever you want..."

"...but don't sell it here tonight."

Look, I like Gosling a lot. But McQueen is...well, it's fuckin' McQueen. The argument is therefore invalid.
"...but don't sell it here tonight."

Look, I like Gosling a lot. But McQueen is...well, it's fuckin' McQueen. The argument is therefore invalid.
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5:55PM on 08/29/2013
What a load of shit. Bullitt is ten times the movie Drive is, and I like Drive quite a bit.
What a load of shit. Bullitt is ten times the movie Drive is, and I like Drive quite a bit.
Your Reply:



+12
4:24PM on 08/29/2013

Allow me to reply in the words of Walt Whitman:

BULL-FUCKING-SHIT.
No one, and I mean NO ONE is cooler than Steve McQueen. That pretty boy, no expression block of wood isn't fit to sweep up Steve's Marlboro butts. Hey, I got another great one for you slappy. How about next time, you explain why Marlon Wayans as ripcord is cooler than Richard Roundtree as Shaft. Sorry man, but no soup for you.
BULL-FUCKING-SHIT.
No one, and I mean NO ONE is cooler than Steve McQueen. That pretty boy, no expression block of wood isn't fit to sweep up Steve's Marlboro butts. Hey, I got another great one for you slappy. How about next time, you explain why Marlon Wayans as ripcord is cooler than Richard Roundtree as Shaft. Sorry man, but no soup for you.
Your Reply:



+11
3:32PM on 08/29/2013
Your out of your F'ing mind. I better just stop right there.
Your out of your F'ing mind. I better just stop right there.
Your Reply:



2:59PM on 08/29/2013

Whoa!

You really going to pick a pretentious lame actor over the legend Steve McQueen....Whoa! You need to be suspended. McQueen is still one of the top 5 coolest actors ever to grace our screen and Gosling is a mediocre actor who tries to be cool but obviously is not. Bro, you need to re-evaulaute yourself ASAP.
You really going to pick a pretentious lame actor over the legend Steve McQueen....Whoa! You need to be suspended. McQueen is still one of the top 5 coolest actors ever to grace our screen and Gosling is a mediocre actor who tries to be cool but obviously is not. Bro, you need to re-evaulaute yourself ASAP.
Your Reply:



+13
2:22PM on 08/29/2013

Rating: This is a VERY bad idea.

Wow. I have never actually been embarrassed for one of your writers before, but this is the kind of public stupidity that is going to be very hard to recover from. I mean, this is too nonsensical even for one of those ridiculous "The Unpopular Opinion" columns. Seriously, are you just trolling us?

Here's a tiebreaker for you: Jacqueline Bisset > Carey Mulligan. Frank Bullitt by a mile.
Wow. I have never actually been embarrassed for one of your writers before, but this is the kind of public stupidity that is going to be very hard to recover from. I mean, this is too nonsensical even for one of those ridiculous "The Unpopular Opinion" columns. Seriously, are you just trolling us?

Here's a tiebreaker for you: Jacqueline Bisset > Carey Mulligan. Frank Bullitt by a mile.
Your Reply:



1:08PM on 08/29/2013

Really? Really?....Really?

I'd rather you pit one of the others mentioned against a true icon like McQueen, but Ryan Gosling? GTFO!
I'd rather you pit one of the others mentioned against a true icon like McQueen, but Ryan Gosling? GTFO!
Your Reply:



12:29PM on 08/29/2013

McQueen

Ummm how about the fact that McQueen actually did all his own driving in Bullit? In every movie for that matter. Hell. he specifically put the motorcycle chase in Great Escape because he was like "Yeah I think we need to have me jumping an motorbike to ditch nazi's." Yet Drive is some random stunt guy in a mask most of the time. You have to be glue high to not give this to Frank Bullit
Ummm how about the fact that McQueen actually did all his own driving in Bullit? In every movie for that matter. Hell. he specifically put the motorcycle chase in Great Escape because he was like "Yeah I think we need to have me jumping an motorbike to ditch nazi's." Yet Drive is some random stunt guy in a mask most of the time. You have to be glue high to not give this to Frank Bullit
Your Reply:



10:12PM on 08/29/2013
Actually, McQueen did a lot of the driving, but not all. He had a stuntman for the hairy bits.
Actually, McQueen did a lot of the driving, but not all. He had a stuntman for the hairy bits.
+15
12:20PM on 08/29/2013

Bullshit.

Drive was a horrendous movie that will be forgotten by the next decade. Bullitt is a classic that without it, Drive wouldn't even exist. In fact, the director AND actor of Drive would be lucky to lick the dogshit from Steve McQueen's shoes if he were still alive.

Honestly, if this site keeps writing bullshit articles like this just to increase posting counts (which seems like that's the case lately), instead of being the trustworthy site that's not only EDUCATED but reports on movies and
Drive was a horrendous movie that will be forgotten by the next decade. Bullitt is a classic that without it, Drive wouldn't even exist. In fact, the director AND actor of Drive would be lucky to lick the dogshit from Steve McQueen's shoes if he were still alive.

Honestly, if this site keeps writing bullshit articles like this just to increase posting counts (which seems like that's the case lately), instead of being the trustworthy site that's not only EDUCATED but reports on movies and movie news like it used to, then I may just have to find another site altogether.
Your Reply:



1:59PM on 08/29/2013
Learn a little bit of reading comprehension, asshole. As I stated in my original post, there have been more than a few of these articles as of late that seem to be written mainly to stir up shit rather than provide relevant content (that JoBlo has been known for). THAT'S why I would leave this site, BECAUSE of the change into a site that only cares about increasing their post counts by writing articles designed to inflame people (ie. trolling). Because then this site would become no better than
Learn a little bit of reading comprehension, asshole. As I stated in my original post, there have been more than a few of these articles as of late that seem to be written mainly to stir up shit rather than provide relevant content (that JoBlo has been known for). THAT'S why I would leave this site, BECAUSE of the change into a site that only cares about increasing their post counts by writing articles designed to inflame people (ie. trolling). Because then this site would become no better than AICN or some bitchy little movie gossip site. So unless you have something useful to add, go back underneath that rock from which you came.
1:46PM on 08/29/2013
By the way, I disagree with the winner of this face-off as well, but I am not going to leave this site because of it. That is a total overreaction. It's not even poorly written and the writer at least makes well thought out arguments, admitting that Steve McQueen defined cool. I am not disagreeing with your opposition to the decision, just your determination that this site needs to cater to you and your opinions. That is asinine.
By the way, I disagree with the winner of this face-off as well, but I am not going to leave this site because of it. That is a total overreaction. It's not even poorly written and the writer at least makes well thought out arguments, admitting that Steve McQueen defined cool. I am not disagreeing with your opposition to the decision, just your determination that this site needs to cater to you and your opinions. That is asinine.
1:39PM on 08/29/2013
Go ahead. If you want to leave the site because a writer has a different opinion than you, and because JoBlo has more than just news, find another site. Stop threatening to leave and just do it. It's not like they're going to change just to please you. This is a website for news and entertainment. Are you not entertained? Fine. Go. We won't miss you.
Go ahead. If you want to leave the site because a writer has a different opinion than you, and because JoBlo has more than just news, find another site. Stop threatening to leave and just do it. It's not like they're going to change just to please you. This is a website for news and entertainment. Are you not entertained? Fine. Go. We won't miss you.
+18
12:19PM on 08/29/2013

No

Bullitt beats the Driver every single time out, in every category you could possibly come up with.
Bullitt beats the Driver every single time out, in every category you could possibly come up with.
Your Reply:



11:56AM on 08/29/2013
I always try to respect another person's opinion, but... WTF?! McQueen as Bullitt is the epitome of cool, whereas Gosling is an actor trying to be cool. A monumental difference between the two.
I always try to respect another person's opinion, but... WTF?! McQueen as Bullitt is the epitome of cool, whereas Gosling is an actor trying to be cool. A monumental difference between the two.
Your Reply:



11:51AM on 08/29/2013
Drive is highly overrated.i liked it,i think its good but not great.it reminded me of Taxi driver,Transporter
Drive is highly overrated.i liked it,i think its good but not great.it reminded me of Taxi driver,Transporter
Your Reply:



11:51AM on 08/29/2013
Drive is highly overrated.i liked it,i think its good but not great.it reminded me of Taxi driver,Transporter
Drive is highly overrated.i liked it,i think its good but not great.it reminded me of Taxi driver,Transporter
Your Reply:



11:32AM on 08/29/2013
I'd accept a tie if you must, and while I personally think Drive is a better film, Frank Bullitt is, if anything, a cooler character. The one place I strongly disagree with is the name. Now, don't get me wrong, The Driver is a cool name, but it's not near the level of cool that Frank Bullitt is, because Ryan O'Neal and Dwayne Johnson (to name two) have also used that name.
I'd accept a tie if you must, and while I personally think Drive is a better film, Frank Bullitt is, if anything, a cooler character. The one place I strongly disagree with is the name. Now, don't get me wrong, The Driver is a cool name, but it's not near the level of cool that Frank Bullitt is, because Ryan O'Neal and Dwayne Johnson (to name two) have also used that name.
Your Reply:



+15
11:19AM on 08/29/2013
Nope. It's Frank Bullitt. Cool, suave, police detective with an awesome 1968 Ford Mustang. Him and The Driver might be similar to one another in terms of driving skill. However, I don't think it's fair comparing the two. Frank Bullitt should be compared with Popeye Doyles from The French Connection or Buddy (Roy Scheider) from The Seven-Ups. And The Driver (Ryan Gosling) should be compared with The Driver (Ryan O'Neal) from The Driver (1977).
Nope. It's Frank Bullitt. Cool, suave, police detective with an awesome 1968 Ford Mustang. Him and The Driver might be similar to one another in terms of driving skill. However, I don't think it's fair comparing the two. Frank Bullitt should be compared with Popeye Doyles from The French Connection or Buddy (Roy Scheider) from The Seven-Ups. And The Driver (Ryan Gosling) should be compared with The Driver (Ryan O'Neal) from The Driver (1977).
Your Reply:



11:18AM on 08/29/2013
I have to agree. McQueen was a complete bad ass no doubt about it but Bullitt is completely overrated. Drive is a much better film overall.
I have to agree. McQueen was a complete bad ass no doubt about it but Bullitt is completely overrated. Drive is a much better film overall.
Your Reply:



11:48PM on 08/29/2013
fanboy71 - Your comment is completely absurd. Drive made 76 million dollars on a budget of only 15 million. It made its budget back 5 times over. Get a clue. And great films do bad at the box office all the time. Just like awful films do great.
fanboy71 - Your comment is completely absurd. Drive made 76 million dollars on a budget of only 15 million. It made its budget back 5 times over. Get a clue. And great films do bad at the box office all the time. Just like awful films do great.
10:21PM on 08/29/2013
Bullitt is the one that's overrated? Drive sucks ass, but everyone swears they loved it because it was so coooool. Yet it flopped like a fish at the box office. I think it was cool to like it when it came out because it was "artsy", and all the cool kids said they "got" it. In reality, it was a horrible film that will not hold up.
Bullitt is the one that's overrated? Drive sucks ass, but everyone swears they loved it because it was so coooool. Yet it flopped like a fish at the box office. I think it was cool to like it when it came out because it was "artsy", and all the cool kids said they "got" it. In reality, it was a horrible film that will not hold up.
11:06AM on 08/29/2013

No way

I am a big DRIVE fan...I even got the scorpion jacket replica and I know that nobody is cooler than Steve Mcqueen... he is the MAN! a fucking legend... respect your elders!
I am a big DRIVE fan...I even got the scorpion jacket replica and I know that nobody is cooler than Steve Mcqueen... he is the MAN! a fucking legend... respect your elders!
Your Reply:



+11
10:45AM on 08/29/2013
No F*ng way!

BULLIT >> Drive

No no no.. this is the worse face off Ive seen so far
No F*ng way!

BULLIT >> Drive

No no no.. this is the worse face off Ive seen so far
Your Reply:



+15
10:22AM on 08/29/2013

Bullshit

How does the Driver win in the quotes category when for the majority of the movie he's just silently staring into the distance??? Bullitt, both the movie and character, are far superior to Drive. This comparison is a complete joke.
How does the Driver win in the quotes category when for the majority of the movie he's just silently staring into the distance??? Bullitt, both the movie and character, are far superior to Drive. This comparison is a complete joke.
Your Reply:



10:16AM on 08/29/2013
Steve McQueen is the king of cool, bar none. He can't be beat. The Great Escape? Bullitt? Movies that cannot be beat by today's movies.
Steve McQueen is the king of cool, bar none. He can't be beat. The Great Escape? Bullitt? Movies that cannot be beat by today's movies.
Your Reply:



11:29AM on 08/29/2013
What he said.
What he said.
11:20AM on 08/29/2013
He's also effin' cool in the original The Thomas Crown Affair and The Getaway.
He's also effin' cool in the original The Thomas Crown Affair and The Getaway.
+16
10:15AM on 08/29/2013
Must disagree, not only is the character Bullitt waaay cooler, it's also a far superior film.
Must disagree, not only is the character Bullitt waaay cooler, it's also a far superior film.
Your Reply:



10:15AM on 08/29/2013
Both are awesome, but McQueen's Bullitt all the way.
Both are awesome, but McQueen's Bullitt all the way.
Your Reply:



10:03AM on 08/29/2013
Lame.

Bullet > Driver., ANY day, ANY year, ANY decade, ANY century, ANY MILLENNIUM.

What a pathetic comparison.
Lame.

Bullet > Driver., ANY day, ANY year, ANY decade, ANY century, ANY MILLENNIUM.

What a pathetic comparison.
Your Reply:



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