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

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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Guillermo Cabrera Infante (screenplay)
Malcolm Hart (from a story outline by)
View company contact information for Vanishing Point on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1971 (USA) See more »
It's the maximum trip... at maximum speed. See more »
During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(130 articles)
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User Reviews:
The road can work on your mind. See more (160 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barry Newman ... Kowalski

Cleavon Little ... Super Soul

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

Paul Koslo ... Deputy Charlie Scott

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

Arthur Malet ... Second Male Hitchhiker

Karl Swenson ... Sam - 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)
Robert Foulk ... Colorado Communications Officer (uncredited)
David Gates ... Pianist at Revival Meeting (uncredited)

Ted Neeley ... J. Hovah singer (uncredited)
Bruce Rhodewalt ... CHP Communications Officer (uncredited)

Meg Wyllie ... Police Dispatcher (uncredited)

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)
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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sensuality/nudity and drug content (re-rating) (1998)
99 min | UK:106 min
Color (DeLuxe) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
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:PG (Approved No. 22718) (original rating) | USA:R (re-rating) (1998) | West Germany:18 (original rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Cameo: [David Gates]The singer/songwriter (of Bread fame) played the piano during the rousing revival in the desert with the J. Hovah singers.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): The snake-hunting old desert rat (Dean Jagger) mangles the name of the saguaro cactus as a tourist might do, pronouncing it "sag-where-ah." In reality, the "g" is silent and correct pronunciation is "se-war-oh"- - something a person who made his living off the desert, as he did, would certainly know.See more »
Nude Motorcycle Rider:Is there something I can do for you?
Kowalski:Well, like what?
Nude Motorcycle Rider:Like anything you want.
See more »
Movie Connections:
You Got to BelieveSee more »


What are the differences between the US-Version and the UK-Version of this movie?
See more »
118 out of 133 people found the following review useful.
The road can work on your mind., 8 July 1999
Author: L_Miller from United States

Kowalski transports cars across the western US in 1970. He gets a gig transporting a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T from Denver to San Francisco and sets out at maximum warp, stopping only for gas and strategy. He commits no crime outside of speeding, and fleeing the cops who are trying to stop him simply because he will not stop. He finds allies along the way, including an old prospector, a DJ named Super Soul, and a hippie who seems to me to be an alternate ending to the life of Peter Fonda's character Wyatt in "Easy Rider". He drives and drives and drives until he meets his destiny in a tiny town on the California-Nevada border at 10:04 AM on some unnamed Sunday.

Why? Is it because of his past; ex-cop, ex-racer, tragically bereaved? Is it because of the truckload of speed he takes at the beginning of the movie (draw your own metaphors between Kowalski's internal use of the noun and external use of the verb)?

Or is it the road, the infinite expanses of the Southwest, the silence, the freedom, the sound of the motor surging, the tires spinning, the wheels gobbling up and sitting out the black asphalt? Who knows? Kowalski seems indifferent as to why he drives, only that he must drive, must evade, must get to where he is going and will not - can not - be stopped.

Do yourself a favor. Rent the original, don't see the '97 made for TV movie (it has some high points, but it's like watching the '99 "Psycho" before seeing the Alfred Hitchcock original). In fact, rent this and "Two Lane Blacktop" from Monte Hellman, and "Mad Max" and/or "The Road Warrior". Watch all of them in as close to one sitting as you can get.

If after watching these movies, you don't understand how they're expressions of the same call to the open road, return them and give up. Not everyone was meant to hear it, just like not everyone has perfect pitch or the ability to wiggle their ears.

This movie drove me (pun intended) to take the handle kowalski and buy a Challenger of my own (flame red, 1973, you see the 1970 R/Ts are very hard to get).

It probably won't do the same for you, but if you've ever been driving down the open road and wondered what would happen if you _didn't_ get off at the next exchange, in fact if you never got off at all, then this film is for you.

And I hope the next ignoramus who compares this masterful film to "The Dukes of Hazzard" loses his brakes and plows into a line of parked Harleys outside some bar with a name like Whiskey Junction or the Dew Drop Inn.

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