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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vanishing Point - A Cult Classic
I originally saw this road movie at the Odeon Cinema, Elephant & Castle, in the 1970's. It carried a 15 Certificate, and I recall that I was underage at the time, and worried that I might get sussed out by the ticket seller. The Odeon isn't there any more, but I'm glad that I was able to track down a copy of the movie!!

Its story, if there ever was one,...
Published on 16 Jan. 2011 by Tim Bentley

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish quality DVD - DO NOT BUY
I don't know whether it's because of some sort of conversion from US to UK formats to do with frame rates or something, but there is frequent jerkiness in the rendering and audio/visual synch problems which completely ruin the film for me. This is unlike Electra Glide in Blue which I bought at the same time and is fantastic (get that one instead!)
Published 19 months ago by Bottom Inspector


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vanishing Point - A Cult Classic, 16 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
I originally saw this road movie at the Odeon Cinema, Elephant & Castle, in the 1970's. It carried a 15 Certificate, and I recall that I was underage at the time, and worried that I might get sussed out by the ticket seller. The Odeon isn't there any more, but I'm glad that I was able to track down a copy of the movie!!

Its story, if there ever was one, involved Barry Newman having to deliver a Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Fransico. That doesn't really matter. It was an adrenaline rush, involving Newman driving an American muscle car as fast as possible. From out of nowehere, some bloke decides he wants to test his E-Type Jag against Newman's Dodge - as you do - and it all ends in tears for the Jag driver.

Pursued by cops, the only thing they have on Newman is speeding and careless driving!! It's a great film to put the brain in neutral, sit back with a few munchies and a few beers, and drool over the deep rumbling sound of the Challenger's V8 power unit! It was the end of the flower power era. There is a great soundtrack of blues, folk and rock 'n' roll. Oh, and Gilda Texier riding a Harley in the desert.

I wonderful, whimsical movie, but at the end, the good guy can't win. It was the early '70's. A Cult Classic!!!
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate road movie par excellence., 2 Jan. 2001
By 
MarmiteMan (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vanishing Point [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The Chase. The Desert. The Shack. The Girl. The Roadblock. The End.
Vanishing Point is clearly the four-wheeled version of Easy Rider. It is rootless, a wide-pan journey through the empty wastes of the sparsely-populated and unknown western United States, conjuring-up a sense of no belonging anywhere, no home, no place in Life (the I-am-hopelessly-lost tyre-tracks criss-crossing in the desert) - in fact, the definition of a road movie.
Filmed in brilliant technicolour and accompanied by a terrific, atmospheric soundtrack of the free-lovin' and hirsute age: Jesus freaks and hippy chicks join for a melodic and harmonious celebration of both the concept of Freedom and the spirit of Freedom. Car-delivery driver Kowalski (Barry Newman) bets he can drive the magnificent supercharged white Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in a mere 15 hours. Instead of sleep, food and drink Kowalski swallows Bennies. These keep him going, but do these cloud his mind and judgement ...?
For Kowalski has A Past. As he evades or breaks through every police pursuit, speed trap, dragnet and roadblock, police bulletins inform the viewer that he served in the US Army with distinction in Vietnam (before the USA's main commitment 1965-71), being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour. Then as a police officer in San Diego, where he rescued a young female suspect from assault and rape (by a brother officer) ... which cost him his badge and Dishonourable Discharge. Then as a racing driver, and a pretty darn good one, too, until his licence was revoked. And he lost his girlfriend to a surfing accident. Clearly sensitive, Kowalski is - perhaps unsurprisingly - also a deeply-troubled soul.
Whose cause is taken up by blind Black radio DJ 'Super Soul' (Cleavon Little) of KOW FM. 'Super' feels an affinity with the Last American Hero, the last free spirit, and raises Kowalski to cult hero status. Much to the chagrin and spite of one Nevada cop in particular (has Paul Koslo ever played a nice guy?), who assembles a few rednecks and brutally beats up jive-talkin' and free-spirited 'Super Soul' while the assembled townsfolk look on.
The sparsely-populated wastes of the western United States - the last free space in the country - is home to strange Americans. Dean Jagger is a rattlesnake trapper, who trades the serpents for coffee, flour and loadsa beans, son, from questionably-Christian J. Hovah and his travelling faith-healing singers. And drop-outs - well, this is 1970, the tail-end of the Flower-power 'Sixties: when the Revolution failed to happen, the groovy guys & chicks headed West to found their own commune societies (like in Born On the Fourth Of July), like the Pioneers a century before them. Unforgettably erotic on the motorcycle, young Gilda Textor (the girl Kowalski rescued years back) shows him cut-outs and pastings of his career-destroying good deed. Touchingly, she wishes to reward his integrity. Touchingly, he declines. 'Nobody Knows' sings Kim Carnes over the closing credits.
California. Sunday 5:04 p.m. The cops did not stop the Free Spirit ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The NTSC version has twice the octane, 14 Dec. 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Easy Rider may have somehow become the defining film of its day, heralding a plethora of clichéd road moves, but I'll stick with Vanishing Point. It may have been the inspiration for Smokey and the Bandit, which added jokes, beer and a happy ending to the equation, but four decades on it's aged much better than Hopper's drug-fuelled road trip thanks to a combination of great visuals and some great car stunts. On the debit side there's some very unfortunate gay stereotyping in one sequence and the Charlotte Rampling scene from the UK version (which, ironically, can now only be found on the US DVD) does unfortunately slow the picture down to a dead stop at exactly the wrong time, but as speed-fuelled nihilism goes it's still a great ride.

While the UK DVD only includes the trailer and the shorter American cut of the film, the Region 1 NTSC DVD is a much better proposition, including both the 98-minute US cut, the 105-minute UK cut, an audio commentary by director Richard C. Sarafian, trailer and two TV spots.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vanishing Point - The Ultimate Road Movie, 16 Sept. 2002
By 
A Lewis (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
This is it! Available at last on DVD, and for the first time in Widescreen! The counterculture movie that takes on 'Easy Rider' head to head, and creates a movie that is just as fresh and exciting now as it was thirty years ago.
Barry Newman plays Kowalski, the 'Last American Hero' thundering through the deserts of the American west, pedal firmly to the metal.
Kowalski has made a bet that he can deliver a customers supercharged Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in just fifteen hours... an impossible task that is made even more unlikely by the legions of Highway Patrol officers who are determined to halt him.
A fantastic film, easily one of the finest road movies of all-time, and definitely among my top five favorite films. You won't be dissapointed with this purchase!
A funked out soundtrack and the most spectacular car chase this side of the original 'Gone in 60 Seconds'.
Thank you 20th Century Fox!
Now all we need is a release for 'Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry' :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The American road movie which sets the standard, 26 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
This story combining as it does a driver with a troubled past ,a blind DJ, chasing cops an assortment of characters
encountered and a violent ending is just about as good as it gets. Cinemaphotgraphy is outstanding and this combines
with a soundtrack absolutely appropriate to the action bearing in mind this predates all the electronic effects and digital
manipulation that is now commonplace
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Vanishing Point" on BLU RAY - Compatibility Issues Withe The 'US' Disc - But At Last – It Gets A 'UK' Release..., 20 Mar. 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Like most I saw the amazing “Vanishing Point” on television back in the Seventies when it already had built up a cult audience (I sought out Barry Newman films after that). And I’ve been lusting after it on the new format for years.

But the 2009 American BLU RAY issue on Image Entertainment is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are). And it looked to stay that way for ages…

However Fox has lined up a bunch of BLU RAYS in Steelbooks for issue in May 2014 – and “Vanishing Point” is among them (“Big”, “Speed”, “Legend” and the original of “The Day The Earth Stood Still” are some of the others).

So finally we're going to get to see it on this side of the pond. And about bloody time too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The pedal is to the metal!, 20 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
Honestly, this was a thoroughably enjoyable film. Despite the numerous "chase" scenes, this is actually quite a slow movie which examines the American pscyhe of the day through the life of the driver, Kowolski, as he barrels across the US, chased by various law enforcement agencies.

The scenery is stunning, the characters are well developed, and even the music (which isn't really my thing) fits well. This is a subtle movie and if you are watching it as an "action/adrenaline" flick you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for a character movie that offers an insight into the post woodstock generation, then you will love this.

The occasional smattering of very fine breasts is appreciated too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vanishing point, 26 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
The best most concise review of this film is given on the cover of the V.H.S. tape, I can only hope it has not been removed for the D.V.D. cover. Here it is. THE CHASE. THE DESERT. THE SHACK. THE GIRL.THE ROADBLOCK. THE END. Those who have seen the film would agree, those who have not seen would agree with this by the end of the film. I have not seen the girl on the motorcycle on 'where are they now', but neither have I seen Erica Roe recently.This film shows the complete breakdown of a film caricature in real time in a real life. The whole point I believe is that worryingly this could be you. For those students of life and those who know this could never happen to them WATCH THIS.
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4.0 out of 5 stars After Easy Rider Came..., 25 Sept. 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
..the four-wheeled version in Richard C Sarafian’s 1971 film Vanishing Point. Of course, Sarafian’s film can be read as either an existential treatise on Vietnam, civil rights, peace (CND symbols liberally plastered), the summer of love, flower power and Jesus-loving, drug-fuelled hippydom ('Drop out and join the cause’) or simply a high-octane blast for petrolheads as Barry Newman’s Vietnam vet, ex-cop, ex-racing driver Kowalski speeds from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco purportedly to deliver a white Dodge Challenger (his constant companion) but in truth on more of a spiritual journey of self-discovery. And Vanishing Point certainly provides much spectacular entertainment as our anti-hero rumbles that V8 gloriously in his attempts to outrun cops (car or helicopter-based), defying certain death repeatedly in the process (stunts courtesy of Carey Loftin – he of Bullitt and The French Connection fame).

Sarafian and cinematographer John A Alonso also created an impressive visual spectacle with lingering close-ups of the speeding muscle-car as it is pursued (frequently off-road) across the desolate desert landscapes of Colorado, Nevada and Utah – calling to my mind the likes of Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop and Spielberg’s Duel (said director being a big fan of Sarafian’s film, apparently). Vanishing Point also scores highly on setting up Kowalski as the tale’s 'hero’, an 'innocent man’ (in the public’s eyes) being persecuted by cops – or the 'last American hero’ as described by Cleavon Little’s blind negro DJ Supersoul (who is beaten up by vengeful thugs in one of the film’s darkly satirical moments, as Bob Segarini sings Dear Jesus God in the background).

Being a 'road movie’, Sarafian’s film is episodic and narrative-(and dialogue-) light. Indeed, outside of Newman and Little the only other acting turn of note is that delivered by Dean Jagger’s kindly prospector and snake-catcher. Also, given the political undercurrent it is also very much a film 'of its time’ and its ‘hippy/free love’ milieu is reinforced by an eclectic soundtrack featuring Delaney & Bonnie (who appear in the film singing as part of a Christian commune), Red Steagall, Kim Carnes, Mountain and Big Mama Thornton. And, the film certainly does spectacular and enigmatic better than it does ‘romance’ – these interludes are embarrassingly corny (hopefully deliberately so!). That said, however, Vanishing Point remains a mostly original, frequently exciting, highly symbolic watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Completely meaningless and a true masterpiece., 16 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
If you want to watch a barely vocal Barry Newman driving a Dodge Challenger at high speed for an hour and a half, this could be the film for you. If you don't care for Barry Newman, or you would like to see him in a film where he occasionally speaks, or watching a car speeding across Utah, Colorado and Nevada is not your thing, then this film may not be for you.
The central premise is that Kowalski has to deliver the car from somewhere in Colorado to San Francisco in 15 hrs. No explanation is given as to what the hurry is, why it would be worth getting a lifetime's speeding points in one day, or why the police forces of three states should risk life and limb to stop him. Nor does history relate what the customer made of receiving a car that had been caned to explosion point and had had every body panel thoroughly bashed-in.
Kowalski himself is fuelled only by Benzedrine; unless I missed it, he doesn't care for food or sleep.
By way of diversion from his relentless high speed charge Kowalski encounters some odd-ball characters on the way, a man catching rattlesnakes in the desert, a woman who rides a motorbike without her clothes on, and some hippies.
There is a blind hipster radio DJ (Super Soul) who charts Kowalski's progress by listening in to police radio and giving a suitably hip commentary over the airwaves, but for my money this character has not stood the test of time too well.

The shots of the car speeding through the desert are terrific.
There is a great chase with an E-type Jag that is eventually run off the road into a river and totally destroyed, and dozens of police motorcyclists suffer similar fates.

Ultimately the film is completely pointless, but I can't pretend that I didn't enjoy it a lot.
I'd rather watch this than any number of episodes of Downton Abbey.
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Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD]
Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] by Richard C. Sarafian (DVD - 2002)
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