I first saw Bullitt six or seven years ago, on TCM back when I was living in San Diego. I really enjoyed it, in part to being able to see a San Francisco that sometimes seems more familiar to me than the one I go back to when I go home to San Mateo today. Plus there is the ever cool Steve McQueen. So put Steve McQueen in a Mustang and have him drive the gritty streets of San Francisco in the late 60s and the only wonder is why I didn’t watch it earlier!
Dirty Harry, on the other hand, I have never seen. I love Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns. I am also partial to many of the films he has directed. Even so, I have always stayed away from watching any of the Dirty Harry series. This AV Club article makes a persuasive case for it, though
Even if they weren’t terrifically entertaining, the Dirty Harrys would be essential viewing, because they explain where about 70 percent of the post-1971 guns-and-goons Hollywood action movies came from. Watching the first Dirty Harry for the first time today is like reading Marvel’s early ’60s Spider-Man comics, or listening to the first Van Halen album. So many of the fundamental genre codes and conventions are there, ready to be followed like a blueprint.
I would think that influence would include a lot of the Masuda Yusaku DVDs I have around my place, so watching it during a double feature with Bullitt would be as good as time as ever to see it. Plus, both are in 35 mm, offering up a rare treat in Tokyo that I cannot pass up.
The Shin-Bungeiza will screen Bullitt at 11:35 in the morning and 3:35 in the afternoon and Dirty Harry at 9:40 in the morning, 1:40 in the afternoon and 5:40 in the early evening on Monday, May 1st.
On Saturday May 6, it will screen Bullitt at 12:30 and 4:45 in the afternoon and Dirty Harry at 10:25 in the morning and 2:40 in the afternoon.
One ticket gets you into both films at the Shin-Bungeiza.