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  • #5810063
  • Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
  • UPC #024543527145
  • Model #2252714



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    Detail Description
    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # 2252714 )

      Richard Sarafian directed this minimalist chase film, starring Barry Newman as ex-marine, ex-race car driver and 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. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
    Movie Type
    Movie Level Themes
      Fighting the System, Obsessive Quests
    Movie Level Tones
      Tense, Visceral, Forceful, Hallucinatory, Atmospheric

    DVD Features

    • Includes both U.S. and U.K. Movie Versions
    • Interactive 1970 Dodge Challenger
    • Built for Speed: A Look Back at Vanishing Point featurette
    • Virtual Dashboard
    • Commentary by Director Richard C. Sarafian
    • Vanishing Point Trivia Challenge
    • Cars, Cops and Culture '70s Trivia Track
    • 0A-5599 Featurette
    • Super Soul Me Featurette
    • Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
    • Enhanced for D-Box Motion Control Systems
      AMG Rating


        The late 1960s and early '70s had no shortage of symbolically charged road movies, and if Vanishing Point isn't quite the same caliber as Two Lane Blacktop or as culturally significant as Easy Rider, in its best moments it comes close. A huge drive-in hit, the film turns its modest budget to its advantage, making a virtue out of its plot's simplicity, and in the process becoming a beautiful example of the now-vanished B-movie avant garde. As Barry Newman's benzedrine-powered drive from Denver to San Francisco progresses, it becomes less about getting a job done than an almost allegorical journey toward death, a sort of Pilgrim's Progress for a time of post-Woodstock disillusionment. Director Richard Sarafian stages the near-constant chase scenes hypnotically, aided by the expert cinematography of John A. Alonzo, and he gracefully incorporates flashbacks to Newman's past life, explaining a bit more of what's brought him to his present state. Elsewhere, sequences featuring hipster D.J. "Super Soul" Cleavon Little makes the counter-cultural relevance of Newman's desperate journey clear. If anything, a little too clear: Vanishing Point's greatest flaw may be its tendency to overstate its case. Is it really necessary for Little to refer to Newman as the "last American hero" and "the last beautiful free soul on this planet"? Does Little really need to be nearly-killed by a racist mob to make clear what's at stake? Also puzzling is an archaic scene in which Newman battles a pair of stereotypically gay bandits. But even with such moments, Vanishing Point still works beautifully, aided by Newman's quiet, beautifully understated performance: his world-weary expression and grizzled visage make it nearly impossible to romanticize his trip, and equally difficult not to sympathize. ~ Keith Phipps, Rovi


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