|Vanishing Point [Blu-ray]
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Studio: Tcfhe Release Date: 02/24/2009 Run time: 106 minutes Rating: R
Art film and road movie collide for Vanishing Point, an existential car chase across the desert in a post Easy Rider America. Barry Newman stars as Kowalski, a taciturn driver who bets that he can drive a new Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours. He loads up on amphetamines and begins his odyssey through the contemporary west while a funky black DJ (Cleavon Little) turns the driver into a folk hero and broadcasts advice on dodging the cops. It's like a counterculture precursor to Smokey and the Bandit, with the road as the last bastion of freedom and the DJ as a combination commentator and mystical guide. The slim plot offers a network of society drop-outs that aid the "last free Man on Earth" (as the DJ describes him) on his obscure but obviously symbolic quest while flashbacks paint Kowalski as a world-weary hero. It doesn't really make much sense, but the amazing car chases and excellent stunt work are stunningly set against the American west, beautifully captured by cinematographer John A. Alonzo. Vanishing Point is most assuredly a product of its time, the heady, anything-goes era of rebellion in the early 1970s. --Sean Axmaker
- Great Cult movie ..Remember "Petrocelli"
Cult Classic ...this is a loners movie ..I think we have all had times in our lives when we felt like kowalski..thats what makes this movie so authentic...What ever happened to Barry Newman ..does anyone remember "Petrocelli" ..the TV series Barry newman played a Private Detective and he was Building his home Block by Block himself in the Nevada Desert?.....more info
- Vanishing point: Old school movie fun!
A good movie for its time. I knew the end before I watched it, so that took something away from it, but if you like classic car chase films that require a bit of intellect, you will enjoy this....more info
- Vanishing Point
Watching this movie brought back a flood long forgotten memories, I remember watching this the first time on a small black & white television some 25 years ago.
This movie is a genuine classic, this time around I was still fixed to every tyre screeching scene....more info
- Iconic 70's-generation defining movie
It might `only' be a chase movie in terms of plot - but this movie reeks so much of the period in which it was made it is more like an historical record of a nations mood.
Barry Newman is an ex policeman and ex stock car racer, who now is reduced to delivering cars for a living. In pushing himself to get the job done, he is forced to take speed, and has no time to sleep - he is a man falling between the cracks of society. He accepts a bet that his latest delivery - a Dodge Challenger - can be delivered from Denver to California by a certain time. While racing to meet his deadline the police take notice and a chase begins, commented on by a blind radio station dj, who helpfully provides an iconic 70's soundtrack to the proceedings.
Along the way he meets dropouts, hippies, drug dealers, Jesus-freaks and hold-outs against civilization. In short, a synopsis of all those from the 60's generation who are disillusioned at the way the 70's are starting.
If it's aged in terms of the music and in places the style, It has not dated nearly as much as it's contemporary `Easy Rider', and the cinematography of the empty, grand spaces of Western United States makes the movie worth watching in itself. The soundtrack is surprising in places, but the sound design itself is a star, with the growl from the Dodge Challenger part of the rush.
It's arguably the movie that defined chase movies for years to come - where would Smokey and the Bandit be without it? And yet few of its successors had the sense of astute and bleak observation of the times.
Thrilling, expansive, yet trimmed down and simple in plot, this is worth catching up on and deserves to find an audience again.
I bought this movie after hearing that it was filmed in Goldfield, NV. It was so cool to see the town and what it looked like almost 40 years ago. It used to be the largest town in Nevada boasting 300,000 people a hundred years ago. The Goldfield Hotel in which Super Soul broadcasted his radio show has been featured on Fox Scariest Places on Earth, Ghost Hunters, and Ghost Adventures. As for the movie itself, it kind of seems a bit dated. Nice naked chick on the motorcycle however and cool car crashes. ...more info
I had been searching for this video. It was just what I was looking for! ...more info
- An actual review of the Blu-ray
C'mon, you already own the movie on DVD, what are all these reviews of the DVD version doing here?
What's on the Blu-ray? That's what you want to know.
Okay, worth the price of admission alone; a new HD 20-minute documentary on the film including interviews with Barry Newman (Kowalski himself), Sarafian (the director), musician Chris Cornell (?!), and ... wait for it ... the naked chick on the motorcyle ... today. Well, maybe you want to skip that visual to keep your memories (and her petite mammaries) vivid in your mind, but it was a noble thought (except for the part about the blisters).
Love the car? Another brief documentary has car enthusiasts, including the legendary George Barris, talking about the 1970 Challenger. I loved finding out that the HP was specifically down-graded to 426 so it could be marketed as a street vehicle, when it was really a drag strip monster with 500 HP, and almost impossible to control at high speeds. Kudos to the stunt driver (Why isn't he on here? Let me guess ...)
There's a trivia quiz you can take while watching the movie. And there's this strange graphic you can add to the watching of the movie where you are looking at it over a graphic of the actual dashboard of the car. Sort of like Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or whatever it's called). I wouldn't recommend it though, if you want to actually enjoy the pristine quality of the high definition remaster, which is beautiful, especially for an early 70's vintage film where, more often than not, the cinematographer was just as stoned as the cast, the picture could often be out of focus, and the ackward zoom shots could make you hurl.
But forget all that, here is the ultimate anti-authority finger-up-in the-air-to-the-police epic. Pop the clutch and get down to your local Brick and Mortar media store (they're sinking fast) and pick it up!...more info
- Drive like Hell and you'll get there !!!
It's a pretty good flick, a little flat at times, you have to watch the whole thing to understand Kolslowski. Awesome driving and real stunts!!! and Caterpillers are tough....more info
- Vanishing Point...on BluRay!
Though I'm now in my fifties I'm afraid I'll never grow up: I still like "Vanishing Point", done so ever since I saw it first in the early seventies. I've seen in on tv, had it on tape, still have it on laserdisc and on standard DVD, still have the LP soundtrack and now, finally I have it on Bluray (it was released over here in Holland early January, 2009.
The image is only slightly better than the standard DVD, simply because the original filmgrain is the limiting factor as far a picture resolution is concerned. My copy was incorrectly labelled 2.35, it is in fact 1.80, like it was shown in cinemas. I was very pleased to see that the sound had been redone in 5.1 DTS HD, but this turned out to be a big disappointment. This is not a remix: all dialogue and music are still in mono and front-centered, only very occasional there is some surround sound effect, but definitely the sound does not live up to 5.1 DTS HD expectations.
Well whatever! If a true 5.1 version comes along, I'll be buying that too, probably. And there are some nice extra's on the BluRay disc....more info
- Vanishing Point great action Movie
This is one my favorite movies. I had it on VHS now on DVD. Non stop action start to finish,with a message....more info
- Christmas present
I ordered this DVD & several others & they all arrived in good shape & on time for Christmas morning....more info
- A man waiting to die....
I first heard of this movie as a slam-bam, chase flick. Little of substance, much mayhem.
After avoiding it for many years, I finally took a look.
As the climax ended, I found I was crying. It was so inevitable, yet by the time the car hits the barriers, you want him to stop, escape, live again. Kinda reminded me of Dead Man, as this guy is taking a journey before he dies. It is simple, revealing, heart-breaking. ...more info
- Blu-ray out in Germany
The German BD came out containing some of the extras in 1080/24p: 17-minute Look Back with interviews with Barry Newman, Richard Sarafian and the nude Biker girl (clothed). 10-minute film, also in HD, about muscle cars and the Dodge Challenger. Trailer in HD, 2 TV spots in 480i.
Sountrack dts HD-MA with new remix with cars passing by to the side and to the rear in some instance. Seemed to me quite center concentrated.
It seems the US Version will have some more extras. BonusView extra about the music....more info
- It Still Holds Up Today
I saw this in the theater in 1972 while restrained in the Marine Corps and was transported by the music, wide open desert spaces, anti-establishment themes, Kowalski's sense of fair play and nude hippie chicks on motorcycles. In other words all the freedoms I missed while being in the service. I really loved it then and was a little apprehensive about seeing it again as I wasn't sure it would hold up over the years. 36 years to be exact.
Well, the movie works on many different levels and it still holds up today for the same reasons it was a great "B" movie way back in the day. Now, the 1970 Dodge Challenger is a sweet, classic muscle car and just the sound of that engine revving over my home theater system is a nostalgic celebration. (Gotta get me one of those!) We miss Cleavon Little even more as he nearly steals the film as Super Soul the seemingly clairvoyant and misplaced desert DJ. We can still relate to the angst and frustration of not fitting in with mainstream society.
There are real humanistic themes here to go along with the weirdness and action. I appreciated Kowalski's sense of fair play, notice how when someone might be injured he usually stops, gets out of the car and determines whether they might need help. Nice touch. He does this in different ways all through the film. You really see the man behind the wheel as a person.
I did get concerned about the present value of this film during the first fifteen minutes because the early chases seemed rather like "Smokey & The Bandit". I was relieved that we move away from there quickly and head into deeper, darker waters. A very entertaining little film, indeed.
On the downside I would like to have seen some DVD extras like a "making of" segment or interviews and a 5.1 remix of the sound would have been great, too. I know, it's an old "B" movie, I'm just happy it's available at all!...more info
- Vanishing - To assume the value zero
Can I please get my money back? This movie is terrible. There is one thing that I have never done as an avid movie watcher, and that one thing is fall asleep during a movie. Bad or not, I haven't fallen asleep on a movie....Until Vanishing Point somehow found it's way into my theater room. I'm telling ya, whenever I'm having a night where I just can't fall asleep, I'll pop this terrible movie in and in 10 minutes I'm sleeping like a baby. I bought this movie for Five Dollars and I feel like I got the short end of the stick here. I feel flat out robbed. With a weak American Dollar, paying $5 for this movie is a bit too much.
The acting, chases and the Nascar plot sent this movie spinning around in circles, literally as the disc flew across the room. I don't understand the positive reviews of this movie. What is there to like? Save your five dollars please. Don't be suckers people....more info
- Not a car chase movie
Don't get wrong : this is not a fantastic car chase movie. It's a movie from the early seventies about freedom, about America living the end of a golden age, about a country made of hope and contradictions. It is also about space, and time, about beauty (the desert is amazingly beautyful).
R. Sarafian is a great director, with very little he does big effect, and Barry Newman is exactly the guy requested for this role.
Besides, it is a fantastic car chase movie....more info
- Car chase movie with a storyline
The original Vanishing Point (not 'updated' 1997 version) lives up to its name of being one of the classic cinematic car chase movies. Through subtle poignant tones is the story of a man known simply as Kowalski racing against the clock and himself on mission that becomes all too clear as the movie unfolds.
Super Soul (Cleavon Little, Blazing Saddles) is a blind black disc-jockey who appoints himself Kowalski's spiritual co-pilot much to despise of law enforcement promotes Kowalski to an ever increasing audience who listen in and follow him on his journey with destiny. 30+ years later this is still a movie that will leave more than an impression of watch and forget as this is an example of a car chase film that has a story line you will not easily forget.
Note previous comment re 'updated' 1997 version of Vanishing Point that re-edits the original 1971 movie footage to replace Cleavon Little (R.I.P 1939-1992) with Brett Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210) as Super Soul inserts into the story line a pregnant wife, mobile phones and a heavy metal soundtrack, enough said.
- great chases but thats it.
If you are looking for a movie with chases than this is for you.Barry Newman drives a challenger from Denver to California in 15 hours....Or tries to anyway.Please beware of the PG version,stick with the R.I enjoyed this version better.Clevon Little is the blind DJ who warns him of danger.There is even a scene in here where AL SHARPTON would protest if it was released today.One thing I found troubling is everybody involved in here racing after him or challenging him to some road dual was wearing a helmet.I guess they ran out of stunt people....more info
- DVD - Vanishing Point
Another of my favorite movies.Also purchased Bullitt & Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry,(guy/car movies)...more info
- Vanishing plot
My friends and I went to see this when it first came out in 1971 we alwayse wondered why there was never a movie that was one big chase. Vanishing point demonstrated why. This movie is absent of plot, substance and acting. When we saw this in the theatre the only high speed chase was to see which audiance member could get out of the theatre first. My only hope is that at last big firey crash that the script was tied to the front bumper. I like Barry Neuman and I will one day forgive him for being in this movie.I hate to waste a whole star on this movies rating but they wont let me give it a half.
This is not the movie I thought it was when ordering but I am far from disappointed. I have one of those you never know what's next kind of teens and she actaully watched this with me and more-so really liked it and has carted it around to watch with friends. She has seen it many times now and *gets* something different out of it all the time. I felt ripped off at the finish, maybe because i just wanted more, I really liked the character too and wanted better for him....oh Mom it is just a movie I am told. ...more info
- Excellent movie whether you're a car guy or not!
I rented Vanishing Point because I'm a car nut, and especially like the old muscle cars of the '60s and '70s like the 1970 Dodge Challenger that's driven in the film. The movie definately satisfies the car nut in me, with all of the chase scenes, but if you rent it just for that you're missing the whole point of the film. Vanishing Point is the story of an ex-cop, ex-Vietnam Vet named Kowalski. He's tasked with the job of delivering a 1970 Challenger from Denver to San Francisco. For fun, he makes a bet with his drug dealer that he can make the trip in only 15 hours. Along the way he is helped by a blind DJ named Super Soul who gives him advice over the radio for avoiding the cops. I found the movie to be very spiritual and symbolic. Kowalski seems like just a stoned-out, law breaking, speed freak, which he is, but the movie gives us a glimpse into how he became that way through a series of flashbacks into Kowalski's life. It seems like everytime Kowalski tried to do the right thing, it came back to haunt him. Along the way, he becomes sort of an anti-hero, fighting the establishment that has let him down. I won't give away the ending if you haven't seen the film, but I loved it. It's just the way this guy should have gone out! Get this movie! 4 Stars! ...more info
- We gonna have ourselves a car chase today
I guess that is the point of this movie, but there is a little more to it. Kowalski played by Barry Newman is a car runner that always delivers his cars. On his drive there he gets chased by a bunch of cops but he drives a Dodge Challenger, so nobody will catch him. His back story is explained in a few scenes of how he used to be a cop and a race car driver. Everything in the movie is very interesting but the car chases are the thing that is going to hold your attention. Well, also the naked woman riding the motorcycle, you have to like her too.
The dvd gives us the uncut UK version and wow what a difference. Also a commentary by the director was a real treat to listen to. ...more info
- Dodge Challenger and the Meaning of Life
This is a must see for thoses of you still searching all these years since the sixties. Kowalski is the Everyman we strive to become, yet are reluctant to put the petal to the metal and make a commitment to life as it comes our way. Hats off to the strong supporting cast and genius direction. We can all identify with somebody here.
The only problem I have is neither version presented on the disc coincides with my actual memory of the climactic ending. In MY mind, Kowalski speeds up, becomes airborne and, yes, VANISHES at the roadblock. The ending(s) supplied really let me down....more info
- Wonderful service..definitely recommend.
I purchased Vanishing Point for my fiance and he loved it. I loved the great, fast service. I would highly recommend.
Thank you....more info
- Nostaligic, plain and simple
Good movie, nothing spectacular. Not sure why it rates quite as highly as it does overall, was decent and reasonably entertaining, nothing more....more info
- Understanding men
This movie, though dated, contains so much clear imagery of the processes that drive men (sometimes to their own destruction) that I had to have a copy of my own for a constant reminder....more info
- Classic chase film, though a bit cheesy
First of all, I want to say I really liked this film for what it was: a car chase film, show-casing domestic muscle cars, a shallow plot, and contemporary music. Its not a great movie when it comes to the storyline, but the action scenes are great, especially if you're a fan of muscle cars and rebellion. Anyways, the vehicle used in this movie, a 1970's Dodge Challenger, is a thunderous symbol of the power inherent in the American spirit of rebellion that hearkens back to the revolutionary war....more info
- Its not the Sun its the SON!
So many phenominal reviews, covering so rightly the deeply moving existential message, accidentally delivered by Newman, Sarafian and Alonzo. One thing everybody missed... is at the end, the light Kowalski's chasing is not the sun, but the Son... of God. This is, after everything else, a Gospel Film... about freedom, the REAL kind!...more info
- Classic car chase from the past!
This movie is one looong car chase. Starting just a few minutes from the opening credits, until he hits that ,"Vanishing Point", this man & his muscle car just won't stop. The police are gathering lots of men & firepower to end his joyride, and a lot of regular folks want to see him keep going. Sort of a ,"Stick it to the Man", cheering section on the sidelines. And this car has the horsepower to stick with it. In 1971 a V8 engine had lots of guts, and gas had lead for lots of octane. On this trip, Barry Newman burns plenty of it. Sure, there are other people in this movie, but I'll always think of a souped up Dodge Challenger as the star of this road trip....more info
- Great Chase Flick
This has to be one of the all time best chase flicks. And if your into the classic muscle Dodge's this is the movie for you. I bought this for a friend who is still in love with the classic Dodge muscle car and he flipped....more info
- one of the greatest car movies of all time
Lots of great chase scenes, and action. This movie shows the spirit of the American Muscle car....more info
- Why waste the cash
This is a poor excuse of a movie. The actors are less than right for these rolls. I will be selling this movie used if anyone wants to waste the cash.......more info
The color and sound was alright but I was rather disappointed in the movie itself. It was a very short movie with no introduction starting with the movie and it was a race alright but the driver and car were a total disaster in the ending part of the movie. I would not class this movie as a 1st Class movie by a long ways. I guess I was expecting a much better auto race than was in the movie. Maybe others will enjoy it but I felt it was a waste of my money personnally!!!...more info
- vanishing point the ultimate reflection
Filmed in the early 70s just past the easy rider woodstock epilogg of the 60s generation this film has a gloomy mood, kind of a after christmas depression being one of the first of the 2nd half of the hippy era of the early 70s it looks dated but i think it is intended that way and in a good way. Barry Newman is a car delivery driver after a recent depressing life of vietnam veteran, corrupt law enforcement and possible suicide of his girlfriend. The film defines the mental statis and mind racing of many vietnam veterans of the turbulant 60s and early 70s who can side with him. He is spent and he knows it so he just dont give a damm anymore hes out for his last dash. The 70 dodge chalenger he drives simblizes its last hurrahh as well as the fast car from the factory was winding down with 1970 being the last year for cars to get faster. After that year they started cutting back in the energy crisis to follow. The dodge speaks of its mopar domination being the best of the speedy cars with the hemi supercharger and pistal grip 4 speed shifter. Although some may argue the car is the star thats ok as well. It looks good, sounds good, and owns the road, well for a little while. He is driving from denver to san francisco and meets some more depressed people along the way including cops, want a be [...] robbers, a desert burned out old man, hippi cult jesus freaks, a hippi biker, blind disjocky, and the best for the guys a naked blond riding a bike who ask him for sex but in his chronic depression turns her down. He is popping pills to stay awake and does not appear to have any water in the desert as his life is unquenched and very unsatisfied. Best is the europian vergion when he picks up a girl who desires and wants him but its only a temporary feel good, its only a dream then back to his nightmare his falling apart life. They block the road with 2 bulldozers but he could have went around them. Its like they gave him a choice and the car and him are in a flash like his life and the 60s history. This movie defines the period best and is like no other and never will be like another....more info