IMDb > Vanishing Point (1971)
Vanishing Point
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Vanishing Point (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Writers:
Guillermo Cabrera Infante (screenplay)
Malcolm Hart (from a story outline by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Vanishing Point on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1971 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's the maximum trip... at maximum speed. See more »
Plot:
Kowalski works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Francisco... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A Dirge For A Dying America See more (155 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barry Newman ... Kowalski

Cleavon Little ... Super Soul

Dean Jagger ... Prospector
Victoria Medlin ... Vera

Paul Koslo ... Young Cop

Robert Donner ... Older Cop (as Bob Donner)
Timothy Scott ... Angel
Gilda Texter ... Nude Rider
Anthony James ... First Male Hitchhiker

Arthur Malet ... Second Male Hitchhiker

Karl Swenson ... Clerk at Delivery Agency
Severn Darden ... J. Hovah
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends ... J. Hovah's Singers

Lee Weaver ... Jake
Cherie Foster ... First Girl
Valerie Kairys ... Second Girl

Tom Reese ... Sheriff
Owen Bush ... Communications Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

John Amos ... Super Soul's Engineer (uncredited)

Val Avery ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Rita Coolidge ... J. Hovah's Singer (uncredited)
David Gates ... Pianist at Revival Meeting (uncredited)

Ted Neeley ... J. Hovah singer (uncredited)

Charlotte Rampling ... Hitchhiker (uncredited)
Bruce Rhodewalt ... CHP Communications Officer (uncredited)

Meg Wyllie ... Police Dispatcher (uncredited)
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Directed by
Richard C. Sarafian 
 
Writing credits
Guillermo Cabrera Infante (screenplay) (as Guillermo Cain)

Malcolm Hart (from a story outline by)

Barry Hall  uncredited

Produced by
Michael Pearson .... executive producer
Norman Spencer .... producer
 
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Stefan Arnsten 
 
Set Decoration by
Glen Daniels 
Jerry Wunderlich 
 
Makeup Department
Del Acevedo .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Francisco Day .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Glassman .... assistant director
John D. Benson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Dennis J. Parrish .... property master (as Dennis Parrish)
 
Sound Department
Bill Edmondson .... sound mixer
Tom Edwards .... sound mixer
Theodore Soderberg .... sound mixer
 
Special Effects by
Paul Stewart .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Louie Elias .... stunt coordinator (as Louis Elias)
Carey Loftin .... stunt coordinator (as Cary Loftin)
Max Balchowsky .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Brooks .... stunts (uncredited)
James W. Gavin .... aerial stunts (uncredited)
Bill Hickman .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunt double (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunt driver (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Hart .... gaffer (uncredited)
Mason Sperry .... grip (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Michael McLean .... casting supervisor
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Wynigear .... wardrobe master
 
Music Department
Jimmy Bowen .... music producer
Jimmy Bowen .... music supervisor
Pete Carpenter .... musical associate
Tom Thacker .... musical associate
 
Other crew
Michael McLean .... associate: Mr. Sarafian
Iain Quarrier .... creative associate
Maurice Unger .... production administrator
Duane Toler .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Bill Venegas .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for sensuality/nudity and drug content (re-rating) (1998)
Runtime:
99 min | UK:106 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2008) | Iceland:L | Norway:16 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:GP (Approved No. 22718) (original rating) | USA:R (re-rating) (1998) | West Germany:18 (original rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Kris Kristofferson was considered for a part. His then wife, Rita Coolidge, has a small role in the film.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At 21:49, after Super Soul receives the first radio report about Kowalski, the Challenger goes up a hill into shadow with a large mound of earth on the left side of the road, then the road curves right at the top of the hill. A few seconds later, after a cut showing Kowalski driving, the car is on the road down the hill before the shadow, ready to climb the same hill again.See more »
Quotes:
Colorado State HP Officer:Nevada, this is Colorado State Highway Patrol. This is about a special query raised by the Utah Highway Patrol. - Affirmative, that's correct, but later they asked that the information be forwarded to you guys, so get ready for some details. Put on your tape recorders and all that sort of jazz...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995)See more »
Soundtrack:
Sing Out for JesusSee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the US-Version and the UK-Version of this movie?
See more »
199 out of 226 people found the following review useful.
A Dirge For A Dying America, 21 February 2004
Author: AdamKey (teslaman62@yahoo.com) from San Diego, Calif., USA

Richard Sarafian's 1971 film "Vanishing Point" is, for starters, a fascinating study of those persons anthropologists sometimes term "marginal men"--individuals caught between two powerful and competing cultures, sharing some important aspects of both but not a true part of either, and, as such, remain tragically confined to an often-painful existential loneliness. Inhabiting a sort of twilight zone between "here" and "there," a sort of peculiar purgatory, these restless specters cannot find any peace or place, so they instead instinctively press madly on to some obscure and unknown destination, the relentless journey itself being the only reason and justification.

Disc jockey Super Soul (Cleavon Little) and delivery driver Kowalski (Barry Newman) are two of these specters, marginal but decent, intelligent men who can't or won't live in burgeoning competing cultures which in reality have offered them very little of worth or substance, despite their own personal sacrifices. Kowalski himself had tried to "fit in" with the Establishment as a soldier and police officer and later, attempted to do the same with the blossoming 1960s counterculture, but soon disappointingly found that they both were ridden with their own various forms of dishonesty and insincerity. Personal honor, self-reliance and genuine respect--Kowalski's stock in trade--were tragically valued very little by either, despite each one's shrill and haughty claims to the contrary.

Moreover, it's no accident Newman's character has a Polish surname; the Poles throughout their history have created a very rich and unique Slavic culture largely based upon just such a "marginality"--being geographically jammed between powerful historic enemies, Germany and Russia, and never being able to fully identify with either one, at often great cost to themselves. It's also no accident Little's character is blind and black, the only one of his kind in a small, all-Caucasian western desert town--his sightlessness enhancing his persuasiveness and his ability to read Kowalski's mind, the radio microphone his voice, his race being the focus of long simmering and later suddenly explosive disdain--all of the characteristics of a far-seeing prophet unjustly (but typically) dishonored in his own land.

The desert environment also plays a key role in cementing the personal relationship between and respective fates of these two men--to paraphrase British novelist J.G. Ballard, prophets throughout our history have emerged from deserts of some sort since deserts have, in a sense, exhausted their own futures (like Kowalski himself had already done) and thus are free of the concepts of time and existence as we have conventionally known them (as Super Soul instinctively knew, thus creating his own psychic link to the doomed driver.) Everything is somehow possible, and yet, somehow nothing is.

Finally, VP is also a "fin de siecle" story, a unique requiem for a quickly dying age- a now all-but-disappeared one of truly open roads, endless speed for the joy of speed's sake, of big, solid no-nonsense muscle cars, of taking radical chances, of living on the edge in a colorful world of endless possibility, seasoned with a large number and wide variety of all sorts of unusual characters, all of which had long made the USA a wonderful place--and sadly is no longer, having been supplanted by today's swarms of sadistic, military-weaponed cop-thugs, obsessive and intrusive safety freaks, soulless toll plazas, smug yuppie SUV drivers, tedious carbon-copy latte towns, and a childish craving for perfect, high-fuel-efficiency safety and security.

The just-issued DVD contains both the US and UK releases of the film; the UK release, I believe, is a much more satisfying film, as it has the original scenes deleted from the US version. As an aside, Super Soul's radio station call letters, KOW, are in fact the ones for a country & western station in San Diego.

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