7.2/10
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Vanishing Point (1971)

During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.

Writers:

Guillermo Cabrera Infante (screenplay) (as Guillermo Cain), Malcolm Hart (from a story outline by)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Newman ... Kowalski
Cleavon Little ... Super Soul
Charlotte Rampling ... Hitch-Hiker (scenes deleted)
Dean Jagger ... Prospector
Victoria Medlin ... Vera Thornton
Paul Koslo ... Deputy Charlie Scott
Robert Donner ... Deputy Collins (as Bob Donner)
Timothy Scott ... Angel
Gilda Texter Gilda Texter ... Nude Rider
Anthony James ... First Male Hitchhiker
Arthur Malet ... Second Male Hitchhiker
Karl Swenson ... Sandy McKeese - Clerk at Delivery Agency
Severn Darden ... J. Hovah
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends Delaney & Bonnie & Friends ... J. Hovah's Singers
Lee Weaver ... Jake
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Storyline

Kowalski works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Francisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours. After a few run-ins with motorcycle cops and highway patrol they start a chase to bring him into custody. Along the way, Kowalski is guided by Supersoul - a blind DJ with a police radio scanner. Throw in lots of chase scenes, gay hitchhikers, a naked woman riding a motorbike, lots of Mopar and you've got a great cult hit from the early 70's. Written by Matthew

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tighten your seat belt. You never had a trip like this before. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality/nudity and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vanishing Point See more »

Filming Locations:

Page, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,585,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,442,673

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,442,673
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cupid Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 2004 music video for Audioslave's "Show Me How to Live" is an homage to, and follows the plot of, this film. It features clips from the film intercut with scenes of the band in a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T replicating scenes of Kowalski. See more »

Goofs

The 19-inch racks in Super Soul's radio station with large tape reels (in one scene seen fast moving) are not audio equipment. These tape drives were used in computer systems in the 1970s to store data on tape. See more »

Quotes

Super Soul: This radio station was named Kowalski, in honour of the last American hero to whom speed means freedom of the soul. The question is not when's he gonna stop, but who is gonna stop him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Fox logo is shown without the fanfare making it one of the first times this has happened. See more »

Alternate Versions

UK prints run 106 minutes and feature an additional sequence with Charlotte Rampling as a hitch-hiker. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mitchell (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Mississippi Queen
Composed by Leslie West (as West), Corky Laing (as Laing), Felix Pappalardi (as Pappalardi) & David Rea (as Rea)
Sung by Mountain
(Courtesy of Windfall-Bell Records)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Can you ever build enough speed on the road to escape your past & your pain?
7 April 2006 | by tom-darwinSee all my reviews

"Vanishing Point" asks the question and, like other films of this kind before "Smokey & the Bandit" brought the genre to an end, lets us ponder the answer on our own. Other than that, there's no point to this film except to demonstrate that the Challenger is one of the best-looking muscle/sports cars ever made. Get too far into this movie & you'll want to sell your children to have one. Kowalski is a '70s knight-errant, or a Greek mythological hero, just as you please. He rides his Hemi-powered steed on a quest to San Francisco, not for a "what," or a "why," or even for a lady fair, but only for "how fast." Does he seek redemption? Escape? Self-forgiveness? To stick it to the Man? Who cares? Knavish cops close in on him, lotus-eaters like Hovah (Darden) shun him, sirens (especially the stark-naked Texter, who would've stopped Burt Reynolds's Bandit faster than Sally Field ever did) want him to dally. Sharp-featured, Western character actor Anthony James has a hilarious, uncharacteristic turn as a gay hitchhiker. Humble, noble souls come forth to guide Kowalski like angels, including a scruffy snake-hunter (Jagger), chopper jockey & drug dealer Angel (Scott), and the blind deejay Super Soul (Little, who should've been a contender for the part of Howard Beal in "Network"). The Man's attempts to explain Kowalski are annoying distractions, so hit the "mute" button when you see scenes of cops in offices. And stop wondering why Kowalski, on his quest for speed, is always being overtaken & passed by other vehicles. Just put your brain in neutral, put your popcorn where it's handy, and buckle up.


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