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Zabriskie Point (1970)

R | | Drama | March 1970 (Argentina)
At Zabriskie Point, United States' lowest point, two perfect strangers meet; an undergraduate dreamer and a young hippie student who start off an unrestrained romance, making love on the dusty terrain.

Writers:

Michelangelo Antonioni (story), Michelangelo Antonioni (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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On TV

Airs Sun. Jul. 21, 2:00 AM on TCM

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mark Frechette ... Mark
Daria Halprin ... Daria
Paul Fix ... Cafe Owner
G.D. Spradlin ... Lee's Associate
Bill Garaway Bill Garaway ... Morty
Kathleen Cleaver ... Kathleen
Rod Taylor ... Lee Allen
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Storyline

An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who's helping a property developer build a village in the Los Angeles desert) and dropout Mark (who's wanted by the authorities for allegedly killing a policeman during a student riot)... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Zabriskie Point- How you get there depends on where you're at See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1970 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Dolina smrti See more »

Filming Locations:

Zzyzx, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$891,918, 31 December 1971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (alternate)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The old car that Daria is driving is a 1952 Buick Special De Luxe. See more »

Goofs

When Mark is buzzing Daria with the airplane, she at one point scrawls out some writing in the sand by the side of the road. Judging by the light and long shadows, it appears to be in late afternoon. Then we see Mark drop Daria something from the plane, which she runs to pick up. But now the light - and much shorter shadows - indicate that it is much earlier than the late afternoon of the previous shot. See more »

Quotes

Mark: [painting the Cessna 210] They might not even think its a plane. Strange, prehistoric bird spotted over Mojave Desert with its genitals out.
See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM president Louis F. Polk was so worried about the controversy surrounding the film, particularly the threat of an X rating, that he invoked the studio's right to the final cut and ordered Antonioni to eliminate anything that might be potentially controversial. Thus, the riots, the love-ins, and numerous other scenes and fragments of scenes were removed, leaving only seventy minutes. The film was deemed unreleasable and written off as a loss but was saved when Polk was replaced by James T. Aubrey, who thought highly of the film and restored (nearly) all of the cut scenes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dr. Christina of Sweden (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

So Young
Written by Roger Christian (uncredited), Mike Curb (uncredited) and Roy Orbison (uncredited)
Performed by Roy Orbison
See more »

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User Reviews

 
California dreaming
3 May 2007 | by Asa_Nisi_Masa2See all my reviews

I was told it was one of those "either you love it or you hate it" movies. Well, I loved it. Obvious hippie-era, dated and easy symbolism and all. So, I probably have no taste at all when it comes to Antonioni, but this and La Notte (made exactly a decade earlier) are my favourites among his movies so far. Made two years before I was born, Zabriskie Point was supposed to have been Michelangelo's great American epic. But apparently, it turned out to be a flop. I really can't see why. Before watching it I'd read that it was rather boring, so I braced myself for a very slow movie - though I love me a slow movie. For my taste, Zabriskie didn't have a tedious minute in it. While watching it, I made a mental note of how European it was on the director's part to make such frequent use of advertisement billboards in almost every urban scene, enormous billboards dwarfing any human form in sight. This recurrent visual element is obviously there to underline the way that consumerism crushes the individual in American society. But then I watched L'Eclisse straight afterwards, which is set in Rome in the early 60s, and noticed that Antonioni often included billboards in it as well. After all, the masterful use of landscapes, architecture and inanimate objects in each frame with or without human beings is an Antonioni trademark – this is precisely the way that he evokes his characters' psychological states, with more or less understated power and great visual impact. He is virtually unsurpassed in this skill.

Zabriskie Point starred two very appealing leads that should have become big stars of the 70s, but never did. Mark Frechette, whom I'd already seen in Francesco Rosi's fine WWI-set movie Uomini Contro, had a very tragic life and died aged just 27. According to his biography page, he donated his $60,000 earnings from Zabriskie to a commune. Mark's co-star Daria Halprin, apparently also Dennis Hopper's wife later on, has the stunning, natural beauty and appeal of a young Ornella Muti – one of those luminous beauties that don't need a shred of make-up to turn heads. Like Frechette, she has only graced a couple of obscure movies and has never become a star, but at least she didn't die tragically. Most notably, Zabriskie Point contains one of the most original sex scenes ever filmed - one that brings home a sense of youthful playfulness like few I've seen - as well as a powerfully cathartic ending. It may be the most banal sequence ever filmed as far as its symbolism goes, but I can't see how anyone can deny its beauty and wonderful sense of emotional release. Never has an explosion looked so good, and so poetic. It seems to be an explosion that restores order rather than bringing chaos.


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