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Vanishing Point (1971) Poster

Trivia

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".
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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A 1967 Camaro shell (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.
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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!"
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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.
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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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Kris Kristofferson was considered for a part. His then wife, Rita Coolidge, has a small role in the film.
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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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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 execute producer Richard Zanuck taking a like for 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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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."
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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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'Guillermo Cain' modeled the Super Soul character after The Big Bopper.
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Dean Jagger (the snake charmer/prospector) and Barry Newman (Kowalski) shared the same birthday: November 7th.
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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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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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