Peter Yates created a new genre with this film, the action/crime film, and created the template for future films like The French Connection and the Die Hard series. Up until it's release, American crime films usually were pretty stagy, with brief acts of violence, usually at the climax. But Yates built his film around three set pieces: a brutal contract killing at the beginning, a running chase thru an airport, ending in the disposal of the villain, and most notably, a high-octane car chase on the streets of San Francisco. These scenes carry the film thru it's lulls most effectively. Steve McQueen was at his ultra-cool best as the titular hero. Robert Vaughan is properly oily as an egotistical social-climbing DA. Jacqueline Bisset, Simon Oakland, Don Gordon, Robert Duvall and Norman Fell are all great in supporting roles. Lalo Shifrin's signature score keeps this movie feeling fat and nervy. All in all, it's been done bigger, but never better.