Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : Vanishing Point

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A highway runs through a desolate dessert town. Two heavy earth movers are rumbling down opposite sides of the highway.  Random cop cars are travelling down the road. The locals watch the goings on, wondering what’s up. The earth movers eventually move onto the road and make a blockade. More cop cars show up plus a news van and a helicopter. The helicopter takes off to find the suspect. The suspect is speeding down the highway towards the roadblock in a White Challenger. He sees the blockade, pulls a uturn and heads back the opposite way but finds a group of cop cars coming towards him. He assesses the situation. He turns off the road and heads into the dessert.

We pick up the story two days earlier when Kowalski is taking a hot Challenger up to San Francisco from Denver. He makes a bet that he’ll have it there 3 o’clock the next day.

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There was the set up and CB was along for the ride with Kowalski. The whole thing was right up my alley at the time. Basically a fantasy for a young CB.  Director Richard C. Sarafian puts some memorables scenes together between the car stuff. John A. Alonzo’s cameras catch the heat and the look of the desert. Supporting actors are good. All the cops seem like genuine, well cops. Cleavon Little as the DJ adds something. Dean Jagger as a rattlesnake catcher drops a good performance. Barry Newman in the lead role does a good job. Keeps it real and subtle. You believe this guy. Oh yeah, It has a pretty good soundtrack for the times.

It was one of those movies that CB would catch the matinee and sit through a couple more showings. Up there for the record for most viewings at a movie house for me. Vanishing Point was a film that stuck with me for a long time. Flawed, dated but still enough for CB to like.

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So hop in the Challenger with Kowalski, pop a few bennys (maybe not,  just guzzle some gas station coffee) and hit the road. Watch the trailer I think you’ll get the idea.

 

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14 comments on “Movie : Vanishing Point

  1. J.
    April 22, 2018

    It’s been so long since I saw this one (20+ years), but it left an impression. I’ll need to give it another watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    April 22, 2018

    Morning, CB. You and me have a lot of similar tastes. But I remember not being crazy about this one when I saw it years ago.
    But if it ever pops up on TCM, I’ll give it a spin.
    Bye —

    Like

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 22, 2018

      I guess it’s one of them there “Guilty Pleasures” for CB. I have a few from the 70’s. (and other eras). Something about films shot in the desert get me. Later Neil

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    April 22, 2018

    Boy, the first thing I was gonna say was ‘there’s a good one for the drive-in.’ Don’t find too many drive-ins anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 22, 2018

      I remember when I seen this and Delaney and Bonnie show up playing out in the middle of the desert. Huh? Rita Coolidge is in the scene also.
      Perfect Drive In flick. I think we talked about drive ins on one of your old posts. You said there was one still operating near you somewhere.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        April 22, 2018

        Yeah, there’s actually two within about about a 1/2 hour drive. Used to be a couple 10 minutes away but they’re all department stores now. I was reading that at peak here in the States (50’s, 60’s), there were 4,000 drive-ins. Now there’s less than 400. Real estate got used for Walmarts and the like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 22, 2018

        There was something so cool about the whole experience. Seen a lot of good flicks and ate a lot of salty, greasy fantastic food.

        Like

  4. 1537
    April 22, 2018

    You know what I have never seen this movie, but I actually have no need to – I must own about 5 Lps that sample heavily from it – I’ve heard all the dialogue!

    This is the best – Turn it up!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 23, 2018

      Yup! That is good. Never knew it existed ( PM is a band I have high on the to listen list). That is so cool that this flick had that kind of effect. I guess I need to find the other samples. Kowalski is such a great character and I loved how they cast a non name in the role. Barry Newman was perfect. Thanks for that. I have a few more similar type films from that era that hit a nerve with CB.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        April 23, 2018

        Shotgun by Guns ‘n Roses.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 23, 2018

        I will check that out. There was a remake of the film . I haven’t seen it. Viggo Mortensen (I like his work) is in it and I remember Audio Slave did some music for it. Maybe it’s time I had a look.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. greenpete58
    April 23, 2018

    I fondly remember this one. Slightly strange, and a great flick for adolescent boys (I don’t think this movie crosses over well to the fairer sex!). Hearing Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” in the desert is a highlight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 23, 2018

      There were some “strange ” scenes and memorable ones that left an impression on me (I guess after sitting through it a dozen times). ‘Mississippi Queen’ is one of my fave songs and yeah it fit this film.
      A few of those “adolescent ” geared movies did slip into CB’s wheelhouse.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2018 by in 1971 film, Action Film, Barry Newman, Chase Film, Richard C. Sarafian and tagged , .

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