Celebrating The Greatest: Five of the Finest Steve McQueen Movies You Have to Watch
Is Steve McQueen the most iconic actor of all-time? He’s certainly up there having starred in some real classics and absolutely typifying what “cool” actually is, from his Baracuta harringtons to his iconic Person shades.
But of course we’re not here to talk about his style, although we could for hours. We’re here to discuss his best films. And wow, there’s a lot to choose from. It took some debating, but here are our five favourite McQueen movies ever made…
Le Mans was a real passion project for Steve McQueen. At heart he was a racer and there’s a wonderful documentary about the making of the film called Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans that was released around five years ago, which details the famous clashing between the actor and director John Sturges.
McQueen got his way in the end though and it’s a fantastic drama that really captures the 24 hour race with its gruelling, on-edge scenes and tension building script.
The Cincinnati Kid
Released in 1965, The Cincinnati Kid is to this day still considered one of the best gambling movies of all-time and is a very different movie to what it would be now. In a world of online casinos like 777, it’s a lot more difficult to be a hustler these days, and people are much more interested in enjoying slot games than poker around a table. Which perhaps makes it a little more difficult to replicate the sort of movie The Cincinnati Kid was.
McQueen is the titular character in the film, an up-and-coming poker player who is placed head-to-head with a master professional. But can he get the better of the old hat? Well, we’ll let you watch it to find out.
Adapted from the Richard Jessup novel, it originally earned mixed reviews but has since gone on to be a real classic and always considered one of McQueen’s best.
The Magnificent Seven
Another John Sturges movie, The Magnificent Seven is one of the best westerns ever and is based upon Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai released just six years earlier. Starring McQueen alongside Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholtz, the movie sees the seven take on the job of protecting a small Mexican village from a well-known bandit.
It’s a wonderful western adventure that’s gun-slinging to the max. There’s been remakes since, including 2016’s Antoine Fuqua adaptation with another all-star cast.
The Great Escape
Perhaps the ultimate Steve McQueen movie is The Great Escape. Directed by John Sturges and starring a number of those that also featured in The Magnificent Seven three years earlier, The Great Escape is focused on a group of Brits and Americans who are trying to escape from a WWII Prisoner of War camp in Germany.
McQueen stars as the leader, while there are some real standout performances from Donald Pleasence and Richard Attenborough too. It was a huge smash hit and you’ll still find it on the television screens each and every Christmas. From the soundtrack to those iconic cooler king scenes with the baseball, The Great Escape is just legendary in every sense.
Released in 1968, Bullitt is perhaps McQueen’s coolest movie and based upon the novel Mute Witness by Robert L. Fish. It’s the action film of all action films and stars McQueen as a police detective who is given the assignment of protecting a mob informant.
When a key witness is found dead, McQueen must put his detective skills to the test and figure out who’s responsible. Set in San Francisco, it’s a film full of phenomenal car chases, and perhaps gave us the blueprint for what a good car chase actually is!
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