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Vanishing Point (1971)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  13 March 1971 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 19,875 users  
Reviews: 158 user | 86 critic

Kowalski works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Francisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the ... See full summary »

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Guillermo Cain) , (from a story outline by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Victoria Medlin ...
Vera
...
Young Cop
...
Older Cop (as Bob Donner)
Timothy Scott ...
Gilda Texter ...
Anthony James ...
First Male Hitchhiker
...
Second Male Hitchhiker
...
Clerk at Delivery Agency
Severn Darden ...
J. Hovah
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends ...
J. Hovah's Singers
...
Jake
Cherie Foster ...
First Girl
Edit

Storyline

Kowalski works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Francisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours. After a few run-ins with motorcycle cops and highway patrol they start a chase to bring him into custody. Along the way, Kowalski is guided by Supersoul - a blind DJ with a police radio scanner. Throw in lots of chase scenes, gay hitchhikers, a naked woman riding a motorbike, lots of Mopar and you've got a great cult hit from the early 70's. Written by Matthew

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the maximum trip... at maximum speed. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality/nudity and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carrera contra el destino  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 880,385 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The color white was chosen for the car simply so the car would stand out against the background scenery in the movie. White was not symbolic in any way. The director says this in the DVD commentary. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence, when the Challenger makes the bootleg turn in front of the bulldozers, you can see that the driver is apparently wearing a curly wig (to match Barry Newman's hair) over a helmet, making his head look ridiculously oversized. See more »

Quotes

Kowalski: What do you do with those things?
Prospector: Trade 'em. Trade 'em for coffee, sugar, chewing tobacco, salt, flour, and beans, lots of beans, son.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Fox logo is shown without the fanfare making it one of the first times this has happened. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Nobody Knows
Composed by Mike Settle
Sung by Kim Carnes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Look back on your life torn asunder...then throw it into third gear and floor it.
2 April 2004 | by (Meridian, MS, USA) – See all my reviews

Barry Newman is "Kowalski", an enigmatic figure who has tried everything in his life from stock car racing to the military, and failed at every one of his endeavors. Working as an auto delivery man, he gets an order to transport a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T to San Francisco, and makes a bet with a few friends that it can be done in an impossibly short time. After loading up on "ups" and throttling the car westward, he is soon pursued vigorously by the police and embraced by the public as something of a hero. During a time when national speed limits were all controversy, this film provides a compelling argument against them: A fast car in the hands of a capable driver is not dangerous. Even the police, so caught up in their own system, don't realize that they are the only ones causing accidents and endangering the public while blindly trying to keep up with and capture Kowalski.

While the film sounds at first to be a simple action film, it's really much more than that. Kowalksi's past is revealed little by little through flashbacks, making the film something of a character study. Kowalski's trip becomes a road trip of existentialism as he runs across various strange characters: Solitary hippies, gay bandits, a boogie-woogie snake handling Christian cult, and the blind soul station DJ (brilliantly played by Cleavon Little) who is attempting to guide him on his journey from within the car's radio.

Topping it off is a great soundtrack, breathtaking cinematography and direction, and automotive action that has seen no equal. This film manages to be both compelling and exciting. Just watch it already.

10/10


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