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Vanishing Point (1971)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 18,566 users  
Reviews: 155 user | 76 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 »

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(screenplay), (from a story outline by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Vanishing Point (1971)

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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:

Watch carefully because everything happens fast. The chase. The desert. The shack. The girl. The roadblock. The end. 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

Richard C. Sarafian:  The portly man in the red hat, holding the fire-hose at the end of the film. See more »

Goofs

After the first motorcycle cop crashes, Kowalski flashes back to a motorcycle race. Two riders are shown crashing, and then one whom is assumed to be Kowalski. The rider is wearing a white jacket with black sleeves and a full face helmet, but after he crashes, he is shown getting up wearing an open helmet with goggles and a dark greenish-blue jacket with stripes. Curiously, the numbers are all the same, 28. See more »

Quotes

Super Soul: Hey Kowalski, you out there?
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

Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Welcome to Nevada
Composed by Don Lanier & Joe Bob Barnhill
Played by Jerry Reed
(Courtesy of R.C.A. Victor Records)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Eyes chasing Eyes
7 September 2009 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Gosh, I had forgotten how powerful this is.

Seeing it again is a real lesson on how certain cinematic language, if presented purely, transcends. And for a US-made movie, it is pretty pure.

If you do not know it, the primary narrative is essentially no narrative: a muscle car speeding across the desert chased by police, initially for speeding and ultimately just to exert power. This fellow is Kowalski, a name imported from a landmark film. He simply drives. It is his life now. We see flashbacks. Find he was a Medal of Honor winner in Vietnam, a star racer and then a cop. There's a backstory about his being a good cop and turning in some rotten apples, so by degrees we come to understand the moral landscape.

There is only one other character, a blind black disk jockey who is listened to by apparently everyone. Guided by his eavesdropping on police radio, and some psychic ability.

This was after "Easy Rider" and instead of bold men moving into a life, we have life chasing an honest man. Same ethic, could even have been the same man. But he knows himself. He knows he is a cinematic creature, someone to be observed and dreamed about. He knows he carries his world with him. Always borrowed.

You can see Malick here, the notion that the character sees us seeing him, that he knows he is fictional and knows we think him not. You can trace it to the female version in "Thelma and Louise," where they have their end only because they know someone will watch. Its not like "Cool Hand Luke," or "Bonnie and Clyde" at all where the man decides. That comes from the Hollywood western.

Its derived from the "Breathless" tradition.

A good third of this film is spent on the "audience," the rural townspeople. These parts are filmed in a documentary style, with — it seems — real people who have come to watch the filming, having heard on the radio from a borrowed soul. They look dumb and bored, clearly with nothing better to do than watch, just like us.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


29 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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