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Vanishing Point (1971)

Barry Newman , Cleavon Little , Richard C. Sarafian  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (411 customer reviews)

Price: $23.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • 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: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (411 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00013RC8O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,965 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Vanishing Point" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes both U.S. and U.K. versions

Editorial Reviews

Thrills, spills and a handful of pills. It all adds up to one of the most spectacular car chases in motion picture history! Barry Newman stars as Kowalski, the last American hero, who set out to prove that he can drive from Denver to San Francisco in just fifteen hours. Along the way, he meets an old prospector (Dean Jagger), a snake worshipper, a nude woman on a motorcycle, and a blind D.J. (Cleavon Little) who "sees" danger ahead in this super-charged, action-packed adventure!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
222 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best car movie ever! December 9, 2003
The story begins at the end, where we are shown a roadblock of monstrous proportions, and a white 1970 Dodge Challenger rocketing toward it. From there the tale begins, backing up two days to give the rest of the story. An interstate chase is on for the driver of the Challenger, whom we know nothing at all about. As the story unfolds, the identity of the driver is rationed out in flashbacks and news reports, slowly bringing into focus the nature of the character. At first, we naturally assume the driver to be a simple car thief, as does law enforcement. Gradually, we learn that the driver is not a thief at all, he is simply delivering the car. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran who joined the police department after his honorable discharge, married a beautiful girl, and then lost her in a surfing accident. Not long after, he stopped a senior officer from beating and raping a young hippie girl, and was dishonorably discharged from the force. We also learn that his high-octane burn across the desert is to satisfy a simple wager: if he makes it from Denver to San Francisco in less than 15 hours, he doesn't have to pay for the amphetamines he bought to keep him awake for the trip. He is guided along the way by blind disc jockey "Supersoul" (Cleavon Little), who speaks to the driver (whose name is we learn is Kowalski (no last name given, via the AM radio in the Challenger. Supersoul is Kowalski's invisible guardian angel, advising him of the cop's attempts to stop him, at least until some local rednecks bust into the radio station with a storm of rocks and racial epithets and beat Super Soul and his engineer into submission. Read more ›
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barry Newman is the star, the Challenger is the car! April 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
After seeing this movie in '71, a year before obtaining my driver's licence, it truly influenced my driving skills and my love for high performance American horse power. Seeing the movie now almost a hundred times over, I know the dialog word for word. This is a cult classic to be shared with those 70's era Mopar fanatics who too have seen this movie in it's various cuts at the local driveins. (And attemped to drive just as fast as Kowalski did after they left the drivein). Having the sound track on LP(vinyl) and the movie on VHS, I can revisit my obsession with this film and sound track when ever I feel the need to reassure myself for need of controlled speed. Remember, they used several Challengers during the filming and you can see some of the different cars throughout the film if you have a sharp eye. For those who can fix the frame of the movie just after Kowalski makes impact and someone is spraying water on the wreckage, they can see the the car is a white Camaro. Look at the vent windows on the door frame. Challengers did not have these! For those with a really sharp eye and a large screen can see the Camaro script on the truck lid also. For those newer viewers, sit back and enjoy a pre Dukes of Hazzards true car chase. It doesn't get any better than this. (Unless we can get it on DVD along with a CD version of the excellant music sound track! Hint, Hint!)
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic timepiece movie... August 25, 2002
By A. Ort
Format:VHS Tape
This is a classic movie that is as much social commentary as car chase. I remember watching this on a Saturday matinee on my local television station (long before the advent of cable television) and was mesmerized.
I recently purchased the VHS version and it was just as sweet twenty years later.
The premise isn't much: the main character, former member of society now riding on the fringe, has to get a car to San Francisco in 15 hours. Load up on amphetamines and off we go. The 'plot' is merely a vehicle for the ride.
The car chase scenes are great and realistic (none of the special effects laden hocus pocus you see today) and the cinematography of the West is beautiful. The characters, from the DJ who plays mystical guide to the helpers the driver meets in the desert, show life on the fringe. I'm sure on some level this is a mystical, metaphorical journey of sorts but to me it is simply fun to watch.
The soundtrack is absolutely great. It is kind of the O Brother Where Art Thou of the 70s -- the one that missed the radar. It isn't music you hear on the radio and it certainly isn't mainstream in any fashion but it sure is good.
I give this five stars quite simply because of the cinematography, the cast of characters and the music. Well worth the visit. They just don't make films like this anymore.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There goes the Challenger! February 5, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Absolutely the best car chase movie ever made! Ex cop, ex race driver Kowalski takes his 440 Dodge Challenger in a mad dash from Denver to San Francico for a reason only he knows! With the aid of blind disc jockey, "Super Soul" he outruns the "Big Blue Meanies" through 4 states, reliving his tortured past and meets an interesting array of people along the way! The movie is fast paced, helped along by one of the best movie soundtracks ever put together, with music from Kim Carnes, Jerry Reed, Mountain, and a whole lot more! The movie begins showing the almost ending and flashes back to Day One! Even when you get to the ending again, it leaves you wondering if there could be a sequal! Barry Newman as Kowalski, Cleavon Little, (Blazing Saddles) as "Super Soul are perfect! I saw this movie 25 times in the theaters in 1971, and still enjoy this movie on video as much today! I give it, 2 Thumbs Up and 2 Big Toes up!
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