Vanishing Point is a great 1971 road movie directed by Richard C. Sarafian. The explosive combination of high speed pursuit scenes, hippie and a well balanced soundtrack makes it one of the main cult films of the 1970s, comparable only to such masterpieces as Easy Rider.

Notable cast

  • Barry Newman - Kowalski
  • Cleavon Little - Super Soul
  • Dean Jagger - snake catcher
  • Victoria Medlin - Vera Thornton

    Plot synopsis (Warning: Spoilers ahead)

    Vietnam war veteran, ex-cop and former professional race driver Kowalski works as an agent for a car delivery service. After arriving in Denver, Colorado he takes on an impossible bet with a friendly drug dealer: Kowalski has to deliver a supercharged 1970 Dodge Challenger to San Francisco, California in less than 15 hours. It doesn't take long until our hero (who is helped by his best friends - speed/amphetamine) runs into trouble with the Colorado highway patrol. Chased by the cops Kowalski continues his high speed journey through Nevada. Along the way he is guided by a blind radio DJ Super Soul who tracks his moves using a police frequency scanner, for which he (the DJ) gets beaten up by several thugs (although there is a significant racial background to the fight).

    After several bizarre meetings with gay hitchhickers, a snake catcher in the Nevada desert and a naked woman riding a motorbike, Kowalski finally encounters a road block just after the California state border. By this time he has already lost the bet - it took him over 24 hours to get to California alone. As stopping and giving up doesn't seem to be a good alternative, our hero decides to commit suicide by crashing into the road block at full speed. The beatiful white Dodge explodes in a great fireball. The End.


    Vanishing Point / 1971 / 20th Century Fox
    Directed by: Richard C. Sarafian
    Written by: Guillermo Cain
    Runtime: 97 minutes