- Actors: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin, Paul Koslo
- Directors: Richard C. Sarafian
- Writers: Barry Hall, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Malcolm Hart
- Producers: Michael Pearson, Norman Spencer
- Format: Dolby
- Language: English
- Studio: Fox
- VHS Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
- Run Time: 98 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 144 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00004CX6Z
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 338,443 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Cult car chase movie starring Barry Newman as the enigmatic Kowalski, a lone hero who bets he can drive from Denver to San Francisco in fifteen hours. Fuelling up his white Dodge Challenger and loading up on amphetamines, he heads out to prove his point, and thanks to the on-air encouragement of blind DJ Super Soul (Cleavon Little), he soon becomes a people's hero. As his journey progresses, he meets an array of fascinating characters, including an old prospector, a faith healer, a medicine man, and a naked lady on a motorbike.
Top customer reviews
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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.
The last free soul!
Oh and there's great rockabilly music too!
I understand there's actually a slightly longer version with a big name female star in it but this is not available for our spec TV in UK. I've never seen that one.
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!!!
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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