The man, the myth, the legend: Steve McQueen. He was one of the most badass action heroes of all-time, though he’s rarely talked about today. His hit film streak from the 1960s featured some of the best anti-hero portrayals of all time, but how can you sum up all of McQueen’s awesomeness into just one little list? It wasn’t easy. Take a look at the three favorite movies from the FourteenRobots editorial staff, and a bit of business sense to boot.
Released on Independence Day, this World War II thriller features Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueens) planning a breakout from a POW camp in Nazi Germany. One of the best breakout movies by far, McQueen’s presence hits home exactly how you would expect. They plot to tunnel out of the prison grounds and realize, as the reality sets in, just how dangerous their task is. The whole film is legendary, and even in today’s society where the mindless collective use Rotten Tomatoes as a means to tell them if they’re going to like the movie or not, it still scores a 93%. That’s the definition of timeless.
Budget: $4 Million
Modern Day Equivalent: $32.4 Million
If you can recall advertisements for that Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt movie, the answer is yes, it was a remake of McQueen’s legendary performance. In Mexico, a village is on their knees thanks to the ruthless bandit, Calvera, who leads a team of outlaws. Instead of freeing themselves from tyranny, the townspeople hire a group of seven gunslingers from America to liberate their village. In a lot of people’s opinions, this was one of the last great American western films, and McQueen’s character ties the whole story together. The film’s nearly sixty-years-old today, and with the current set of standards for film, The Magnificent Seven still reigns supreme with a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. They don’t remake bad movies, you know?
Budget: $2 Million
Modern Day Equivalent: $16.2 Million
If you’re a hardcore McQueen fan, then you saw this coming. It’s cliché, but it’s the best McQueen movie that’s ever been filmed. This thriller features a senator aimed to take down a mob boss with the assistance of the boss’s brother—problem is, he’s under protective custody by McQueen’s character. Mob hitmen burst in, and McQueen has to pull off the most famous car chased scene ever filmed while dodging the mob. How much more badass can you get?
Fun Fact: Steve McQueen’s 1968 Mustang GT was featured in an episode of Pawn Stars, where a collector came forward with the authentic GT to sell to the pawn shop owner’s son.
Budget: $5.5 Million
Modern-Day Equivalent: $44.6 Million
While these were some of the biggest movies of their days, we can look at other enormous films who spent less than a million on their budget, such as Rocky or Paranormal Activity, each of which spawned sequels and massive followings. Does the budget play into success?