Vanishing Point Film Details
Overview: During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.
Tagline: It’s the maximum trip… at maximum speed.
Review: Much has been written about this movie, so the story is well known. The main character is a man known as Kowalski who delivers cars for a living. He has done other things though. He was a Vietnam veteran, a former car and bike racing driver and an ex cop, but in the film he collects a car on a Friday night in Colorado to drive it back to San Francisco, California, in 15 hours. ( a journey of some 1200 miles ). Given the car he is driving, a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440ci V8 with a 4 speed manual transmission, which is also allegedly ” hopped up to over 160 “, it is technically achievable, however, as he will be driving mainly on the back roads, no one seems to think he can do it. To help him, he visits a friend at the start and take a supply of speed and then gets on his way. And then the fun begins. So what is the movie really about?….Well, if you read all the other comments, and I recommend you do, you will see the main points of the plot and events, etc, so I wont be repeating these here, but to me, none of them get to the real raison d’etre of Kowalski and the movie. You first have to look at the time period in the US in 1970/71. The Vietnam war was still ongoing and by then the protest against it was very wide spread. In addition, there was still a very strong racism element and the US was in effect a Police state, only much more so than today. Then there was the Muscle care era which was at its peak in 1970/71, but by 1973, it was all but dead as emission laws made many of the big block engines illegal. The 70 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 ci V8 was one of the fastest in its day and with a 4 speed manual transmission was good for around 375 bhp in stock form, however, we are told that it is hopped up to do over 160 mph, ( standard was around 140 mph ) although no details of how it is tuned are given other than a couple of cops saying it is allegedly supercharged. Then he have Kowalski himself. On face value it would seem he has been a failure throughout his life ( well the bits we get to see in flash back ), but is he really?….No. The way he drives the Dodge shows you that he is in a different league to the cops and like all racing drivers, instead of slowing down, he changes down and accelerates to even faster speeds, so he isn’t simply a good driver, he is a great driver. One of the very best. He doesn’t just drive the car, he becomes part of it and it becomes part of him. He knows that whenever he changes down a gear or two, he has rocket like acceleration that will get him out of trouble and when the roads get closed off, he simply takes it out into the desert. As Super soul says, Kowalski is one of the last great American hero’s and that is what the movie is really about. It is an epitaph to the last of the real hero’s, Kowalski, the last of the real muscle cars and the last blast of a freedom that the police are trying to destroy. Kowalski knows that, just like the muscle car, his time has come and gone, so he pushes himself on an almost impossible journey that he knows will end in his death. After all, what is there to live for. Nothing except the speed and the race, and so at the end we see him smash into two bulldozers rather than surrender. On face value, this seems madness. He could easily stop and although he might be imprisoned for a while ( or maybe not as he hadn’t really done anything wrong ), he would get to drive again, but for Kowalski its not so simplistic. He is on a one way journey and this is evident by the flash backs to the past events in his life. We see him as a racing car driver, a bike racer, when he was a cop and the death of his beloved. He whole life story is laid out along the road, so it is obvious that death is the only destination. This is further confirmed when we see the naked chick shows him all the news stories she has collected about him long before this journey. Its like she is an Angel saying, this was your life Kowalski. There is also the scene not in the US versions ), where he picks up a female hitchhiker ( death ) who spends the night with him and then mysteriously disappears before he wakes. Kowalski knows its coming, but rather than fear it, he drives into the next world at maximum speed, smiling and with him dies the last of the great muscle cars. Whether you agree with my synopsis or not, this is one of the great movies of all time and if you do nothing else in your life, you have to see this film and preferably on a big screen with surround sound.
Country: United States
Duration: 99 min
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Also known as: Carrera contra el destino,Point limite zéro,Fluchtpunkt San Francisco,Avto smrti,Punto límite: cero,Vanishing Point,Corrida Contra o Destino,Speed,Išnykimo taškas,Punto zero,Točka nestajanja,Døden bak rattet,Tačka nestanka,Ölüm noktası,Точка зникнення,Med spiken i bottnet,Nasta laudassa,Verdwijnpunt Nul,Száguldás a semmibe,Jakten mot nollpunkten,Fluchtpunkt San Franzisko,Σαν Φρανσίσκο: Ωρα Μηδέν,Vanishingu Pointo,Исчезающая точка,San Fransisco: Ora miden,Znikający punkt,Punct de disparitie,バニシング・ポイント（1971）,Внезапно изчезване,Grenzpunkt Null