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Thread: Steve McQueen

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    Steve McQueen

    He was the ultra-cool male film star of the 1960s, and rose from a troubled youth spent in reform schools to being the world's most popular actor. Over 25 years after his untimely death from mesothelioma in 1980, Steve McQueen is still considered hip and cool, and he endures as an icon of popular culture.

    His first lead role was in the low-budget sci-fi film The Blob (1958), quickly followed by roles in The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery (1959) and Never So Few (1959). The young McQueen appeared as Vin, alongside Yul Brynner, in the star-laden The Magnificent Seven (1960) and effectively hijacked the lead from the bigger star by ensuring he was nearly always doing something in every shot he and Brynner were in together, such as adjusting his hat or gun belt. He next scored with audiences with two interesting performances, first in the WW2 drama Hell Is for Heroes (1962) and then in The War Lover (1962). Riding a wave of popularity, McQueen delivered another crowd pleaser as Hilts, the Cooler King, in the knockout WW2 POW film The Great Escape (1963), featuring his famous leap over the barbed wire on a motorcycle while being pursued by Nazi troops (in fact, however, the stunt was actually performed by his good friend, stunt rider Bud Ekins).

    McQueen next appeared in several films of mixed quality, including Soldier in the Rain (1963); Love with the Proper Stranger (1963) and Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965). However, they failed to really grab audience attention, but his role as Eric Stoner in The Cincinnati Kid (1965), alongside screen legend Edward G. Robinson and Karl Malden, had movie fans filling theaters again to see the ice-cool McQueen they loved. He was back in another western, Nevada Smith (1966), again with Malden, and then he gave what many consider to be his finest dramatic performance as loner US Navy sailor Jake Holman in the superb The Sand Pebbles (1966). McQueen was genuine hot property and next appeared with Faye Dunaway in the provocative crime drama The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), next in what many consider his signature role, that of a maverick, taciturn detective in the mega-hit Bullitt (1968), renowned for its famous chase sequence through San Francisco between McQueen's Ford Mustang and the killer's black Dodge Charger.

    Interestingly, McQueen's next role was a total departure from the action genre, as he played Southerner Boon Hogganbeck in the family-oriented The Reivers (1969), based on the popular William Faulkner novel. Not surprisingly, the film didn't go over particularly well with audiences, even though it was an entertaining and well made production, and McQueen showed an interesting comedic side of his acting talents. He returned to more familiar territory in 1971, with the race film Le Mans (1971), a rather self-indulgent exercise, and its slow plotline contributed to its rather poor performance in theaters. It wasn't until many years later that it became something of a cult film, primarily because of the footage of Porsche 917s roaring around race tracks in France. McQueen then teamed up with maverick Hollywood director Sam Peckinpah to star in the modern western Junior Bonner (1972), about a family of rodeo riders, and again with Peckinpah as bank robber Doc McCoy in the violent The Getaway (1972). Both did good business at the box office. McQueen's next role was a refreshing surprise and Papillon (1973), based on the Henri Charrière novel of the same name, was well received by fans and critics alike. He plays a convict on a French penal colony in South America who persists in trying to escape from his captors and feels their wrath when his attempts fail.

    The 1970s is a decade remembered for a slew of "disaster" movies and McQueen starred in arguably the biggest of the time, The Towering Inferno (1974). He shared equal top billing with Paul Newman and an impressive line-up of co-stars including Fred Astaire, Robert Vaughn and Faye Dunaway. McQueen does not appear until roughly halfway into the film as San Francisco fire chief Mike O'Halloran, battling to extinguish an inferno in a 138-story skyscraper. The film was a monster hit and set the benchmark for other disaster movies that followed. It was, however, McQueen's last film role for several years, as he began a long fight against cancer, often resorting to offbeat therapies in an attempt to beat the disease. After a four-year hiatus he surprised fans, and was almost unrecognizable under long hair and a beard, as a rabble-rousing early environmentalist in An Enemy of the People (1978), based on the Henrik Ibsen play.

    The spreading cancer was taking its toll on his body. McQueen's last two film performances were in the unusual western Tom Horn (1980), then he portrayed real-life bounty hunter Ralph "Papa' Thorson (Ralph Thorson) in The Hunter (1980). Steve McQueen passed away on November 7, 1980, only 50 years of age, and his ashes were scattered at sea. He married three times and had a lifelong love of motor racing, once remarking, "Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."

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    Quote Originally Posted by JefeStone View Post
    Bullitt (1968), renowned for its famous chase sequence through San Francisco between McQueen's Ford Mustang and the killer's black Dodge Charger.
    That was the best car chase scene ever!

    It just gets your blood pumping from the moment you
    see that guy in the Charger buckle up his seat belt.

    I thought he was brilliant also in Papillon!

    Incredible Actor!


    -Morbid1

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    I can't believe he didn't have a thread already. Shame, Shame.

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    Thanks Jefe. Loved him. He was a great actor, I did not know a lot about him though. So this gave me a lot of new info.

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    Scott's FAD entry is awesome. The picture's of the clinic in Mexico where he was getting treatment make me feel sad for some reason. I wonder if he was down there alone.

  6. 12-06-2007, 12:23 AM

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    Being Famous and being a great actor are two different things

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    Quote Originally Posted by JefeStone View Post
    Being Famous and being a great actor are two different things
    True.

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    He said that he thinks he got the cancer when he was in the Merchant Marine (when he ran away to sea).
    I am a sick puppy....woof woof!!!

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    I heard he was a little shit of a bloke.

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    I liked all his movies he was great in Getaway, but I loved him in Towering Inferno too.

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    Bud Ekins also also doubled for McQueen jumping the Ford Mustang 390 GT over the hills of San Francisco in Bullitt (1968).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morbid1 View Post
    That was the best car chase scene ever!

    It just gets your blood pumping from the moment you
    see that guy in the Charger buckle up his seat belt.

    I thought he was brilliant also in Papillon!

    Incredible Actor!


    -Morbid1
    I don't know if you are aware that the chase scene in Bullitt was shot with out closing any streets. They would shot early on several consecutive Sunday mornings when the streets they wanted to use would be virtually empty. They did however close a part of San Bruno Ave for the fiery crash of the Charger at the end of the chase. Another bit of trivia: The guy who takes a spill on the motorcycle during the chase is the same stuntman who double Steve in The Great Escape and did the motorcycle jump in that movie.
    Last edited by John Trim; 12-06-2007 at 03:10 AM.
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    Awesome, Thanks for starting this thread.
    ive always enjoyed Steve's work, especially in Bullit,Papillon and the Towerin Inferno.
    It is said that he was a very complex man, though, and that after reaching the top of his career , he had become a social and professional recluse. he spurned all offers and used to demand a fee of 50000 dolars just TO READ A SCRIPT!

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    Sometimes you can love the actor but not so much the person they truly are. Steve probably was a bit of a jerk but was a mans man of a actor. The Sand Pebbles is one of those movies I can watch a couple of times a year. Would not have been the same without him.
    Stay in Drugs. Eat your School. Don't do Vegetables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johntrim040851 View Post
    I don't know if you are aware that the chase scene in Bullitt was shot with out closing any streets. They would shot early on several consecutive Sunday mornings when the streets they wanted to use would be virtually empty. They did however close a part of San Bruno Ave for the fiery crash of the Charger at the end of the chase. Another bit of trivia: The guy who takes a spill on the motorcycle during the chase is the same stuntman who double Steve in The Great Escape and did the motorcycle jump in that movie.
    I know that he did most of his own stunts,and I thought he did his
    in the great escape also.Thats interesting he had a double for that.

    Great info John!


    -Morbid1

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    [SIZE=4]T[/SIZE]errific actor. I tend to watch bits & pieces of [SIZE=3]BULLITT[/SIZE] each time that it runs on tv. He was so good & soooo cool in that. IMO, that is his what I would call "signature film", though I love him in THE GREAT ESCAPE and THE SAND PEBBLES . Only 50 when he died; entirely too soon.

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    Funny connection between Steve and Keith Moon:

    Late actor STEVE MCQUEEN frequently clashed with his neighbour KEITH MOON, and once fired a shot into THE WHO drummer's bathroom to settle a feud. Screen legend MCQueen lived in a Malibu, California beach home next door to the wild rocker, and the pair argued furiously, recalls MCQueen's widow BARBARA in her memoirs STEVE MCQUEEN: THE LAST MILE. She writes, "Keith's bathroom light shone directly into our bedroom and kept Steve awake at night. Steve repeatedly asked Keith to turn it off. After the fifth time, Steve just grabbed a shotgun, blew out the light and went back to bed. "We never heard another word from Keith Moon."

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    yep, TOO SOON.
    Hes missed, i dont know anybody who hasnt enjoyed his work in films like all of those mentioned in previous post.
    He was in so much pain in his last months of life, he couldnt spent one single day without his painkillers.VERY SAD.

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    If I recall correctly, towards the end McQUEEN was trying every desperate thing that he could to 'cure' the BIG C. One of the sort of people that you just couldn't believe was dead & gone.

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    McQueen died in a Mexican hospital (Juarez) while receiving experimental treatments for cancer using apricot pits. He loved Mexico and they loved him! He was one of the founders of the Baja 1000 (awesome!) There is a Mcqueen thread on FAD...and there are current pics of the hospital.

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    I loved Steve McQueen...until I saw him slap Ali McGraw in some movie. It was over for me. Hmmm I think I was about 6... and I couldn't get over him slapping the lady from Love Story...

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    The new stars just don't compare. Steve makes Brad Pitt look like a boy, and George clooney like a metrosexual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morbid1 View Post
    I know that he did most of his own stunts,and I thought he did his
    in the great escape also.Thats interesting he had a double for that.

    Great info John!


    -Morbid1

    For most of the stunts he did his own, and he did most of the motorcycle stuff in that film. He was very capable of doing the jump himself, but the insurance companies and producers wouldn't let him do it. They try not to put their stars in to much danger.

    In Bullitt the way the chase scene was staged he had to do a great deal of the driving himself because you could see him at the wheel.
    Last edited by John Trim; 12-06-2007 at 06:25 PM.
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    The actor who drove the Black Charger was legendary stunt man, Bill Hickman. Hickman was also a good friend with James Dean and was actually driving a few cars behind Dean when he crashed his Porshe Spyder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    The actor who drove the Black Charger was legendary stunt man, Bill Hickman. Hickman was also a good friend with James Dean and was actually driving a few cars behind Dean when he crashed his Porshe Spyder.
    The James Dean part I didn't know. Thanks.
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    the great car chase with McQueen and Hickman
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tWOC...eature=related

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    Thanks for the link-- so has anyone ever counted exactly how many times the pass that damned green VW bug in the chase scene? Hilarious! Almost like it was put in the unblocked streets to keep other cars from crossing intersections they were heading for.

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    From the article on the car chase is a great side bit on the passenger in the Hickman vehicle, 'playing Bill Hickman's partner in crime, was actor Paul Genge. According to Ron Riner, Mr. Genge, who played a very realistic tough guy, "seemed like he had hardly ever seen a gun before. They scared the hell out of him. In the scenes in the Charger with Hickman, he was scared to death. After two or three time we almost had to bodily put tranqiulizers in him, and put him in the car.'

    Anyway, here is a nice story on that chase scene:
    http://www.hottr6.com/triumph/BULLITT.html

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    He was cool thru and thru.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motherogod View Post
    Thanks for the link-- so has anyone ever counted exactly how many times the pass that damned green VW bug in the chase scene? Hilarious! Almost like it was put in the unblocked streets to keep other cars from crossing intersections they were heading for.
    Another continuity issue with the chase scene is exactly how many hub caps did the Charger lose. There were a number of scenes where a hub cap would fly off then it would be back in place in the next scene.
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    I was in Frisco over the T-day holiday and going up and down those hills was a chore. I can't imagine doing some of those hills at up to 110 mph.

    I use to think the hit man passenger was really playing his part well but now I realize the poor fellow was full of tranquilizers and holding on to that shotgun for dear life...
    Last edited by johnny; 12-07-2007 at 08:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    I was in Frisco over the T-day holiday and going up and down those hills in my 6 speed A4 was a chore. I can't imagine doing some of those hills at up to 110 mph.
    I've only done the hills in The City in a stick 3 or 4 times I my life and it can be a pain. I much prefer an automatic.
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    My cousin and I were extras in a few of the San Francisco scenes from Towering Inferno. We were in our teens, and were in the bleachers for the scenes filmed in the building's courtyard during the opening-night celebrations depicted in the movie.
    Steve McQueen arrived on the set that day, roaring up on a motorcycle, cigarette hanging out of his mouth (naturally), with Ali MacGraw behind him holding on for dear life. The crowd went nuts, and I'll never forget thinking he had to be the coolest man on earth. He was so UN-Hollywood, and he obviously was deeply hooked on her, and she on him. What an incredibly HOT couple they were!
    Just a dim memory revived by this thread, hadn't thought of that day in years!



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    Steve McQueen suffered from Stage 4 Mesothelioma.
    His doctor sent him home to die. Instead, he went to Juarez Mexico for Laetrile treatment at a clinic noted for its success in cancer therapy.

    The story goes that after a few months of treatment the cancer in McQueens body had gathered into two masses. One in his side and the other in his neck. He stated he felt great and wanted to get back to work. He also threatened to "blow the lid off the cancer racket" with its ineffective treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. He wanted to spread the word of the inexpensive and completely harmless cancer treatment using Laetrile. His doctor stated that Xrays showed his lungs free from cancer.
    McQueen had demanded that his doctor remove the two cancerous "growths" as it affected his appearance and would inhibit his ability to get acting jobs. The next night while recovering from the surgery, a "new doctor" dropped in on the sleeping McQueen during the middle of the night according to the shift nurse.
    The next morning McQueen was found dead in his bed.
    Cause of death a blood clot in the lung. (Pulmonary embolism)

    He was officially pronounced dead on November 7, 1980, at Clinica de Santa Rosa, Juarez, Mexico.
    Last edited by Med1; 12-08-2007 at 09:11 PM.

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    In one of the books written about him, I think it was by the firstwife she said he actually brought home the braod he was having an affair with . She knew what was going on and threw a fit. She also said that he hit her and was verbally abusive. Then I read the one by the 2nd wife and she sayd the same thing about him. Darn cannot remember her name. She played in love story I think. I loved his acting and his movies but he sure was a dick in real life lol

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    I work in SF and oftern test drive cars on that street. I took a 300 hemi for a test drive there and damnnnnnnnnn . If he actually drove that car himself I give him credit for having a lot of cahooooanas lol That street is wicked. Wanted to do that in the new srt8 but my boss said he'd kill me lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by NOVSTORM View Post
    In one of the books written about him, I think it was by the firstwife she said he actually brought home the braod he was having an affair with . She knew what was going on and threw a fit. She also said that he hit her and was verbally abusive. Then I read the one by the 2nd wife and she sayd the same thing about him. Darn cannot remember her name. She played in love story I think. I loved his acting and his movies but he sure was a dick in real life lol
    His 2nd wife's name was Ali MacGraw. His first wife was Neile Adams.
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    I Like the song "Steve McQueen" by Sheryl Crow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack-O-Lantern View Post
    My cousin and I were extras in a few of the San Francisco scenes from Towering Inferno. We were in our teens, and were in the bleachers for the scenes filmed in the building's courtyard during the opening-night celebrations depicted in the movie.
    Steve McQueen arrived on the set that day, roaring up on a motorcycle, cigarette hanging out of his mouth (naturally), with Ali MacGraw behind him holding on for dear life. The crowd went nuts, and I'll never forget thinking he had to be the coolest man on earth. He was so UN-Hollywood, and he obviously was deeply hooked on her, and she on him. What an incredibly HOT couple they were!
    Just a dim memory revived by this thread, hadn't thought of that day in years!
    How cool, Jack! I remember going to see that movie with a bunch of friends--back when going to the movies was a real event....and that was a real EVENT movie!
    And yes, Steve was wonderful to watch....

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    McQueen

    I was reading a bunch of Google articles about Steve, and found that he patented a special type of bucket seat for one of his race cars.

    He was beyond COOL.
    Last edited by ApricotRoses; 12-26-2007 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Edit info.

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    here is a mugshot when he got busted for dui up in alaska.
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/mcqueenmug1.html

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    Yeah - Steve McQueen was bad-ass - one of my all time heroes...

    I love his last movie - The Hunter where he plays Professional Bounty Hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson - it's very cool...
    "The whole world is about three drinks behind.� -Humphrey Bogart

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    Paul Newman's death got me thinking about Steve today - since they were friends as well as rivals...

    McQueen in Bullitt and Papillon was great, but for me, the most interesting time in his career was when he dropped out of the Hollywood scene, grew his beard and hair out, and became pretty much anonymous. I find it funny that he got so fed up with people sending him scripts that he flew into a rage, ripped the mailbox off his house, and had his mail forewarded to the local gas station. Classic McQueen!
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    the great car chase with McQueen and Hickman
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tWOC...eature=related


    Damn, the video has been removed for TOS violation !!!


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    ]

  46. #45
    Does anyone remember a film that Steve McQueen did with Jackie Gleason called "SOLDIER IN THE RAIN"(1963)? It is kind of a forgotten movie now, but I managed to find a copy. It is a great movie.

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    I've never seen that one. Doesn't he play kind of a dull-witted guy in it? It's suprising to me that his movies aren't so readily available; a person has to really look to find some of them. I found a copy of An Enemy of the People, but it cost me like $30! It was worth it, though!

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    I caught a youtube of Barbara Minty, his last wife, on David Letterman.

    She looked rough. I don't remember her very well....I wonder
    what their relationship was like. Anyone?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QsGs7dMANs
    Last edited by pattykad; 07-18-2009 at 01:52 AM.

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    all this Bullitt/ towering inferno stuff....its gotta be the blob as his greatest movie... i was so shit scared when i was 8

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    At one time I had thought the car chase through the streets of San Francisco had to be edited. I later learned it wasnt. Kinda kewl seeing McQueen bottoming out on the steep San Fran hills

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    In Love Withthe Proper Stranger with Natalie Wood there is a scene where he comes to her apartment for dinner and kisses her on her couch--and that is SOME kiss! What a guy!

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