Bullitt - Showdown At The Airport
Bullitt now knows that the murdered state's witness wasn't mobster Johnny Ross after all, it was Albert Renick (Felice Orlandi), a car salesman who Ross had paid to take his place to take the heat from his pursuers. Following up, Bullitt finds out that Ross is at San Francisco airport (map) about to take a Pan Am flight out of the country under Renick's name.
Then ... Bullitt rushes to the Pan Am terminal at the airport, in the South Terminal.
... and Now, the airport has changed greatly since then but the terminal is still there, now called Terminal 1, although it has itself seen many changes over the years and is now used for domestic flights only. Here's how it looks curbside today (below).
Then ... Director Yates used hundreds of extras for the airport scenes. Here are some of them in the check-in area.
Then ... San Francisco airport in 1968 had only two terminals as seen in the aerial photo below. Central Terminal was built in the mid 1950s, South Terminal in the 1960s.
Ross's plane has already left the gate but Bullitt orders it to return to the terminal. As the passengers file out Johnny Ross (the real one, played by Pat Renella), in desperation, jumps from the plane to the tarmac as Bullitt closes in.
Bullitt follows him and a night-time chase across the runways ensues that is as daring and exciting as the movie's better-known car chase. Below, Bullitt ducks under a passing Boeing 707 to the soundtrack accompaniment of screaming engines.
After a harrowing exchange of gunfire Ross runs back into the terminal. Bullitt catches up with him and much to the consternation of the teeming crowd finally gets his man.