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Vanishing Point (1971) Poster

Trivia

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.
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Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Cameo (1)
The car featured in the film is a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, with a 440 cubic-inch V-8, and not a 426 Hemi V-8 (as is often believed). Eight white Challengers loaned from the Chrysler Corporation were used during the filming.
The squad car rollover was anticipated by stuntman Carey Loftin. He'd warned Sarafian and John Alonzo. Sarafian joked "Now I'll know where to put the camera."
British rock band Primal Scream released their 1997 'Vanishing Point' album, which features several dialogs sampled directly from the movie and was reportedly conceived as "an alternate soundtrack to the movie".
A 1967 Camaro shell (ie with no engine) loaded with explosives was used for the final crash. You can see the "Camaro" fender nameplate upside-down in the lower left corner of the screen after the crash.
It is stated in trivia above that "Jim" is the character's first name because "Jake" his drug dealer calls him "Jim". This is incorrect. African-Americans often called white males "Jim" during the 1970's. In the 1978 film "Superman" in the scene where Kent changes to Superman, the African-American pimp says,"Say, Jim, whoo!" And in Live and Let Die when the black taxi driver "captures" James Bond and, without knowing his name, says, "well hello, Jim!"
Sarafian states on the commentary, that eight '70 Dodge Challenger R/T's were actually utilized during production and when filming had wrapped, only one Challenger R/T remained.
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.
When Kowalski changes the tire in the desert, he's shown tightening the lug nuts in a counterclockwise direction. This is because during the 1960's-1970's, Chrysler Corp. used reverse threaded studs and nuts on the left side of their cars. The idea was that the rotation of the wheel would help keep the nuts tight. When this theory was debunked, they switched to standard threads all around.
Director Richard C. Sarafian's original choice for the role of Kowalski was Gene Hackman, but the studio, 20th Century Fox, insisted on using Barry Newman if the movie was going to be made.
Kris Kristofferson was considered for a part. His then wife, Rita Coolidge, has a small role in the film.
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According to Sarafian on the commentary, he made the film on a budget of 1.3 million. Sarafian also admitted that he had surpassed the allotted budget by $80k due to executive producer Richard Zanuck taking a liking to the film. Zanuck then hired eight different teams of Dolby artists to bring a visceral aesthetic to the Challenger. In the end, Sarafian lost 2.5 points which he joked were "Vanishing Points!"
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Charlotte Rampling had a role as a hitchhiker whom Kowalski met while en route, but her scenes were deleted before the US release. The scenes were re-inserted for the UK release. The DVD release includes both the US and UK versions.
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In one desert shot it shows the Challenger as right-hand drive.
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Dean Jagger (the snake charmer/prospector) and Barry Newman (Kowalski) shared the same birthday: November 7th.
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'Guillermo Cain' modeled the Super Soul character after The Big Bopper.
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When Sandy (Kowalski's supervisor) is being interviewed by the media, various bikers are seen. Sarafian states that they moved from location to location in tandem with the crew. Even partying together with the crew. Sarafian is visible in the scene as the dark haired man in a beige ten gallon hat.
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The distance from Denver to San Francisco via Hwy 50 (mostly and approximately) is approximately 1214 miles. Divide this by the 15 hours Kowalski is trying to achieve averages 81 miles per hour. This is not impossible across the straight desert roads depicted in the film. If Kowalski had held it down somewhat going through the mountains, he may have been able to make it.
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The Challenger had Colorado plates: OA-5599
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The city names on the California Highway Patrol tracking board (where Kowalski never made it) were Stockton, Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.
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Kowalski's first name is used in this movie. In Denver, Kowalski's drug dealer, Jake says to him: "What's happening, Jim?" However, "Jim" is not in the subtitles for that scene.
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Sammy Clayton from Little Feet was one of the J'Hovah band members.
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Entertainment Weekly ranked this Number Two on their "Guilty Pleasures: Testosterone Edition" list in their March 30, 2007 issue.
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Cameo 

David Gates: The singer/songwriter (of Bread fame) played the piano during the rousing revival in the desert with the J. Hovah singers.
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Director Cameo 

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

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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