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Vanishing Point (1971)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  13 March 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 20,789 users  
Reviews: 160 user | 88 critic

During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.


(screenplay) (as Guillermo Cain) , (from a story outline by), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Victoria Medlin ...
Deputy Charlie Scott
Deputy Collins (as Bob Donner)
Timothy Scott ...
Gilda Texter ...
Anthony James ...
First Male Hitchhiker
Second Male Hitchhiker
Sam - Clerk at Delivery Agency
Severn Darden ...
J. Hovah
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends ...
J. Hovah's Singers
Cherie Foster ...
First Girl


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


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


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carrera contra el destino  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,585,000 (estimated)


SEK 880,385 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There were actually four 440 Challenger R/Ts and one 383 Challenger R/T, which was an automatic with green interior. This one was used for some exterior shots and it pulled the 1967 Camaro up to speed so the Camaro could hit the bulldozers. As confirmed by property master Dennis J. Parrish, all of the cars were NOT originally white. They were just painted white for the film. During the scene where Kowalski has a flat tire, you can see green paint in the dents. See more »


There are 2 scenes in the early part of the movie where a person can be seen in the passenger seat and one with a guy in a yellow shirt in the back seat. See more »


Charlie: [after listening to Super Soul's broadcast] Did you hear that?
Collins: Yeah.
Charlie: Where the hell he get so much information?
Collins: Same place as you do, Charley.
Charlie: You mean from our own frequency?
Collins: That's right.
Charlie: How long's he been at it?
Collins: Year 'n a half, maybe two.
Charlie: Hell, that's against the law!
Collins: So's carryin' a transistor on duty.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Hollywood's Hottest Car Chases (2010) See more »


Love Theme
Composed by Jimmy Bowen & Pete Carpenter
Played by Jimmy Bowen Orchestra and Chorus
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.


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