Question: What character did the actor John Aprea play in the movie? The credits at the end lists him as 'The Killer', but who did he kill? He wasn't one of the two hit men at the hotel.

Answer: Notice: Aprea is credited as "Killer", not "The Killer." I think this confuses reviewers, as they assume he must be one of the hit men. However, the hit men are credited as "Phil" (Bill Hickman) and "Mike" (Paul Genge). Genge is much older than Aprea and Aprea does not look like the grey-haired hit man, as another contributor has pointed out already. There is no other killer in the plot. Perhaps Aprea's scenes were cut.

Answer: The doctor that alerts Bullitt that the grey-haired hitman is in the hospital looks like Aprea. He calls himself Dr. Kenner, and that character is uncredited. Maybe "Killer" was supposed to be "Kenner" in the credits?

Answer: Aprea portrays the Organization hood who shoots wildly at Johnny Ross as Ross' car careens out of the parking lot into and down the alley during his getaway in Chicago.

Answer: In a Bullitt movie clip on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) website, it identifies John Aprea as the killer who goes to the hospital to murder the witness. Bullitt chases him to the basement toward the end of the film.


The killer that Bullitt chases is Paul gange (listed in the credits in the role of "Mike") despite the TCM website. Aprea is listed in the movie's credits as the killer, but also lists gange as Mike. Look the name up on IMDB and you can see from his photo that he is the guy Bullitt chases. Why John Aprea - at least 20 years younger than the killer in the movie - is credited as the killer, I have no idea. And I have no idea where in the movie Aprea really appeara.

Question: Just after (the real) Ross has been shot at the airport, you hear the babble of bystanders' voices. At one point you apparently hear this exchange: Person 1: "I heard he shot someone" Person 2: "He's a c**t, that's what he is". Is this part of the script, a mischievous foul-mouthed extra or my bad hearing?

Answer: The line is "He's a cop..."


Question: What happens at the end of this film? Was the man who was shot the real man, and who was that guy who McQueen shot at the end?

Answer: The man shot at the hotel at the beginning is Renick. Ross assumed Renick's identity and was going to flee the country. Ross kills Mrs. Renick to keep her quiet. The man at the airport that Bullitt kills is Ross.


Question: Who is Chalmers? He seems to have a lot of power, but his position is never identified. The plot synopsis says he's the District Attorney. But Bullitt's Captain says, "He's grooming himself for public office." Isn't the D.A. already a public office?

Answer: He's the district attorney. "Public office" in this context means "politician." The Captain is saying the D.A. is grooming himself to enter politics as a senator or mayor, or what have you.


Question: Bullitt goes to little market and buys 6 Swanson TV dinners. What kind? And right before that he sniffs something near the doorway. The grocer says "fresh today." What did he sniff?

Answer: He sniffed green onions. He actually grabbed 7 dinners. The dinners were: on the left going down; Italian Style (lasagna), Meatloaf, and Turkey. On the right going down; Fillet of Haddock, Chinese Style (chow mein I believe), Swiss Steak, and Beef. The Beef was under the Swiss Steak that he grabbed when moving the dinners over to the left.


Question: Why did they keep showing his weapon at the end, was someone else in the bathroom?

Answer: One of the major themes of the film is Bullitt's attachment to his job, to the point where he has become cold and cynical, which has brought his personal relationship with Cathy (whom we see in his bed moments before) to the brink of collapse. Earlier, he and Cathy had a fight in which it is made clear that she won't wait forever for him to open himself to their relationship, and now he's just come off a very trying, not to say traumatic, assignment. So, at the end, he's staring at himself in the mirror (as one does in films), with two paths: one waits in his bed, and the other is his soul-eroding job, represented by his departmentally-issued sidearm resting outside. It is not clear which he will choose. That's why the gun is the last shot of the film; there's nothing to suggest there's anyone else in the bathroom with him.

Question: It is not clear, nor inferred who leaked the location of the witness for the hit. Could it have been Chalmers? Chalmers could have run his prints, and belatedly realised he was duped by the witness posing as a real mob insider.

Answer: Most likely Ross, he told the hitmen where to go. Once the decoy was killed everyone, the mob and the police would believe he was dead. He was safe to leave the country.

Answer: As Renick returns to the waiting taxi at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, a footman incorrectly identifies Renick as Ross and immediately phones in the sighting as well as the taxi's company and number to his Organization contact. Renick stops the cab near a phone booth to call Chalmers who presumably identifies the hotel that is Renick's destination. Since Renick is working for Ross, it's likely Renick then calls Ross to tell Ross where he's to be kept. Early the next morning Renick releases the safety chain on his hotel room door because he is expecting Ross, using Chalmers' name at the desk, to arrive and facilitate Renick's escape from protective custody - - not realizing Ross has given the hotel's name to the hitmen Ross has paid to kill Renick in an attempt to convince the world Ross is dead.

Question: In the surgery scenes, it actually appears to this nurse that the scrub nurse may be a real one. Is she?

Answer: No, she's played (uncredited) by Barbara Bosson, an actress who had an extensive TV career.

Answer: She was the wife of Steven Bochco. He created the TV Shows, Hill Street Blues, Doogie Howser, L.A. Law, N.Y.P.D. and countless other shows. All of which influenced TV programming today, with hard hitting stories, ripped from the headlines and subject matter.

Answer: The film was extensively shot on location in San Francisco, foregoing a sound stage for interior scenes, and was noted for depicting realistic police and medical procedures. The scene in the E.R. used real doctors and nurses as extras. The actress, Barbara Bosson, was likely coached by the medical staff.


Question: How did Bullitt know the specific cab number to look for? Did he call the taxi company to see who dropped a passenger there on Friday, then ask where the cab and driver could be found?

Answer: Being an ex-cab driver, most have a routine. Same areas of town, same routes and same businesses to go where there's most profitable and the tips are good. They also make friends with the owners, to make sure they're specifically called by name, not cab.

Question: What was Justin Tarr's (Eddie) line? Outside Enrico's "Remember Sashu"? Was that the name?

Answer: I think so. Kind of a throwaway line probably to cement that he was an informant and trading in favors was expected. I always felt Bullitt's response, "I'll try." was pretty weak.

Answer: Soft Shoe - a fence, one who deals in " hot" or stolen merchandise.

Question: How did the bad guy have a gun on the flight? He pulls a gun in the airfield chase scene so he had to have it on the plane as he jumped off it.

Answer: Airport security in the late 1960's was not nearly as thorough as it is in present day. Metal detectors didn't become commonplace at airports until the early 1970's.


It was the D.B. Cooper hijacking of a Boeing 727 commercial jet in 1971 that radically changed how airport security was handled. Before that, there was virtually little to no pre-boarding security checks.


Question: How did Ross get Renick to go along with the identity switch?

Answer: Money. A whole lot, plus he likely double talked him into believing it was a con job. Ross saying, "I'm running from the I.R.S. or angry ex-wife wanting alimony and child support."

Continuity mistake: Steve McQueen passes the same green Volkswagen at least three times while chasing the black Dodge Charger R/T. This is due to the same downhill portion being shown to us from multiple angles to artificially extend the length of the scene.

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Trivia: In the restaurant scene near the beginning of the film, the actor playing the waiter accidentally flips the corner of the menu in Steve McQueen's eye, but it was left in the finished film.

More trivia for Bullitt

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