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Richard Sarafian directed this minimalist chase film, starring Barry Newman as ex-marine, ex-race car driver and ex-cop named Kowalski. He drives into Denver to deliver a car and pick up another vehicle to drive to San Francisco. To make the fifteen-hour drive to San Francisco bearable he pops a load of pep pills and drives off. Almost immediately, he is told to pull over by the police, but Kowalski refuses to stop. Ignoring the cops, a police chase ensues. Egging Kowalski on is a blind black disc jockey, Super Soul (Cleavon Little), who announces his comings and goings on his local radio show, praising Kowalski to the skies as "the last American to whom speed means freedom of the soul." Super Soul's hype makes Kowalski a media sensation and Kowalski fans mount up -- as do the police cars chasing him -- as he races against time to deliver both the car and himself to his San Francisco destination.
We cheered Kowalski on because he represented something that seemed to be lost. He was an individual who was damaged by the events in his life and his "purpose" had become the road, plain and simple. Plus he was saying f-you to "the man".
Despite the symbolism, ultimately Vanishing Point is the story of a troubled man running from his past and looking to the road ahead to provide either an answer or an escape. Despite any intended or unintended message, the strength of Vanishing Point is that it speaks to everyone, and on different levels. It has meaning.
I saw this movie when I was 14 at the movies (yes, the year it came out). There was definitely an air of anti-authoritarianism going around back then. We were neck deep in Viet Nam and the government was lying to us and spying on it's on citizens,its release was at a time whem most younger Americans had very little respect for anyone in a position of authority.
A timeless classic. Watch it if you have never seen it.
For anyone like myself who has been searching high and low for years and years for an affordable(or even just available)copy of the original 'Vanishing Point', with Barry Newman, begin your celebration! This was released to DVD in 2004, but it has been extremely difficult to procure a copy for a reasonable price until just recently. Though the dvd doesn't offer a ton of extras, it does include both the original USA and UK releases (UK contains several scenes cut from US version). The video and audio are crisp and clean, and you can watch it over and over without the worry of signal degradation (vs. VHS). Why this movie is such a phenomenon is difficult to say. There is very little middle ground on this. Either you love it and think it is great (and you may not even know for sure why), or you think it has very little entertainment or cinematic value. One thing is for sure, though. Even if you don't purchase a copy for our own collection, if you are over 30 or so, you should watch it again if you get the chance just for the historical perspective. Having grown up in smaller rural towns in Colorado (and being in the right age demographic), I appreciate this movie even more now than when I was younger. It really brings back memories from the from some of the towns I grew up around. Go Kowalski!!
I purchased this dvd because it was the uncut version of this movie. I had known that they deleted scenes from the movie, and I wanted the complete uncut version. I really love this movie and I think this is the best car chase movie of all time. I used to have a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T that I turned part way to look like the Challenger in Vanishing Point. I still have the pistol gear shift from that car. I wish I had kept that car. I also highly recommend this movie to people that will appreciate this type of movie.
The DVD is of high quality good video and audio. I highly recommend this Video to all Detroit Muscle fanatics.
This video is a cult classic and a must for the MOPAR-MAN. Not much of a plot here just pure auto chase. This film is about a dude who's just burnt out on society and decides not comply. I believe no Mopars were seriously harmed in the making of this film just a Camaro stunt double (no great loss). I rate this film in the top of the top 10 chase films of all time. A couple of other films that would be good are "the California kid" and "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry".
First of all, if you are a gearhead in any way, shape, or form, especially a Mopar Gearhead, then this movie is a must have. I can't believe that I personally haven't seen this movie before now. I have heard of it for years, as a matter of fact I saw a movie last year, I believe it was called "Death Proof", that makes a major reference to this movie, even to the point of getting a Challenger just like the one in this movie and taking it for a crazy joy ride, but that is an other story all of its own.
Vanishing point is about, Kowalski, played by Barry Newman, who is currently a car courier who's latest job is to deliver a 1970 supercharged Dodge Challenger from Denver, CO to San Francisco, CA, by Monday, but his goal is to deliver it by Sunday, so he is in a bit of a hurry.
The majority of the movie is all about following Kowalski and this beautiful Hotrod across the country side. However, there are brief flash backs to the past of Kowalski's life, so we get a better understanding of who he is and where he comes from.
Based on the hurry he is in, along his journey, he attracts a nice following of law enforcement personnel, who are bound and determined to get him to pull over, which of course he has no intentions on doing, because that would just slow him down.
He certainly meets some interesting characters along his way too, some help him out to great benefit, while a few others attempt to cause serious havoc to his current agenda. None the less, he consistently sticks to his main mission and that is taking this amazing car West for delivery on time.
One side note, to all of you Guns N' Roses fans, if you have ever wondered where Axl Rose comes up with the end of the song, "Breakdown", you owe it to yourself to watch this movie, if for no other reason, to figure that out.
Grant it, this movie was filmed in the early 70's, so there are not any fancy special effects like you would see in a modern day block buster, but I think if you want to watch a fantastic car chasing type movie, this is one you don't want to miss. This Mopar sounds awesome through out the flick, and it was so worth the price I paid for it.
Don't miss Vanishing Point! The end was a bit disappointing, but that still wouldn't stop me from purchasing this movie. I'm sure I'll watch it multiple times, if for no other reason, to enjoy that fantastic car roaring across the country side.
I watched this movive for the first time after hearing about it from another movie, Death Proof. So I went out and rented Vanishing Point figuring that if Tarantino saw something in it it must be worth watching. I figured correctly as Vanishing Point proved to be one of the best movies I've ever seen of that genre, (seventies car chase dramas). It was so good in fact that I almost immediately looked it up on ebay a purchased it knowing that there was no way that my movie collection would ever be complete in it's absence. I am a movie nerd, I admit, and have probably seen thousands of movies. And I admit also that the movies I think are incredible are not always the ones that the critics or the masses would agree with, but I would wholeheartedly recommend that everyone watch this movie as it is easily one of my top favorites.
I originally saw this movie when it first came out.
Action,Adventure,Car Chases, This movie has it all.
'71 Dodge Challenger is the shows main character, Barry Newman play Kowalski, a washed up race car driverwho leads police on a HIGH speed prusuit thru the heatland of America,the nude biker chick is also awesome.
The original, non-politically correct (like the remake) version. Excellent re-mastered movie with all the elements of a great chase. Fast nearly out of control car and driver. Kowalski, trying to win a small bet with a friend, allowing his inner passions about life, love and his sense of morality and self, to override his sense of propriety, throws it all to the wind to make a statement about everything political in the 1970's America. Good to remember all those feelings and attitudes that I lived through in that time. Also a good reference to the racial intolerance coming out of the 60's and how some people fought against it for the betterment of us all. Also, on another level, it reflects how much hasn't changed about peoples' need to observe tragedy and still walk away unfeeling being glad it wasn't them. Overall one of my favorite movies. - Steve
Vanishing Point DVD.This is the best car chase movie ever.It inspired me to build my own 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T.The car is all power and has 1964 Stage 111.426 C.I.Max Wedge.492+ horsepower.Blows the doors off everything on the street or track.45 Years still running strong.Mopar Rules.
If you like car chase movies this is one that should be in your collection for sure. Takes you back to when cars had real muscle under the hood and the stunts had to be caught on film no CGI here. It is a one man, one car against the world, on a bet, with only the demons from his past motivating him and everyone but a blind D\J trying to chase him down. The car, a 1970 Dodge Challenger R\T plays almost a big a roll as its driver, Kowalski.