7.3/10
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168 user 105 critic

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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Popularity
4,903 ( 1,010)

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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:

It's the maximum trip... at maximum speed. 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:

Carrera contra el destino 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, 31 December 1971
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

Entertainment Weekly ranked this Number Two on their "Guilty Pleasures: Testosterone Edition" list in their March 30, 2007 issue. See more »

Goofs

Motorcycle chase by the Colorado River: Second motorcycle cop crashes through a wooden barrier while chasing Kowalski. The barrier has three yellow and black striped horizontal boards; the cop clearly breaks all three boards in the crash, but when the shot returns to the cop sitting in the dirt, the top board is intact. See more »

Quotes

Hitchhiker: Patiently. That's the only way to wait for somebody.
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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies for Car Enthusiasts (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Freedom of Ex-Pression
Composed & Played by The J. B. Pickers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Look back on your life torn asunder...then throw it into third gear and floor it.
2 April 2004 | by Apollyon_CrashSee all my reviews

Barry Newman is "Kowalski", an enigmatic figure who has tried everything in his life from stock car racing to the military, and failed at every one of his endeavors. Working as an auto delivery man, he gets an order to transport a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T to San Francisco, and makes a bet with a few friends that it can be done in an impossibly short time. After loading up on "ups" and throttling the car westward, he is soon pursued vigorously by the police and embraced by the public as something of a hero. During a time when national speed limits were all controversy, this film provides a compelling argument against them: A fast car in the hands of a capable driver is not dangerous. Even the police, so caught up in their own system, don't realize that they are the only ones causing accidents and endangering the public while blindly trying to keep up with and capture Kowalski.

While the film sounds at first to be a simple action film, it's really much more than that. Kowalksi's past is revealed little by little through flashbacks, making the film something of a character study. Kowalski's trip becomes a road trip of existentialism as he runs across various strange characters: Solitary hippies, gay bandits, a boogie-woogie snake handling Christian cult, and the blind soul station DJ (brilliantly played by Cleavon Little) who is attempting to guide him on his journey from within the car's radio.

Topping it off is a great soundtrack, breathtaking cinematography and direction, and automotive action that has seen no equal. This film manages to be both compelling and exciting. Just watch it already.

10/10


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