business news in context, analysis with attitude

Filmmaker Peter Yates died over the weekend at age 81. He directed such well-known films as The Deep, The Hot Rock, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and The Dresser, but is best known for two films in which speed was almost a character - Breaking Away, a coming of age story set in Indiana and involving bicycle racing, and Bullitt the iconic Steve McQueen film that set the standard for car chases.

Great story, BTW, in today’s LA Times about Bullitt:

“During the making of Bullitt, McQueen was more than willing to get behind the wheel of his police detective character's dark green Mustang fastback for the chase sequence with the bad guys in a Dodge Charger.

“In a 1992 Associated Press interview, Yates remembered McQueen as ‘a lot of macho,’ which became abundantly clear while directing one part of the chase.

“‘I was in the back of the Mustang and Steve was going about 120 mph,’ Yates recalled. ‘We came to the last downhill section and when we got to the top of the hill Steve was still going pretty fast. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, 'We can slow down now, we're almost out of film.' Steve very calmly said, 'We can't. There aren't any brakes’.

“The Mustang, according to the AP account, continued to race down the hill past the film crew and onto a main road before McQueen slowed it down by driving up an embankment.

“‘If it was anyone else, we might not have made it,’ Yates said.”

That’s a pretty good business metaphor - if you;re going to go fast, make sure you have the right guy behind the wheel.
KC's View: