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Vanishing Point


ElCid
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This will be on late Sat. night/early Sunday morning at 2 AM.

Very interesting movie from 1971.  Of course I'm partial because I saw it when it came out and had a '71 Dodge Challenger in the parking lot.

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 Ahhh...VANISHING POINT...a film that always reminded me of LONELY ARE THE BRAVE. 

 

I mean, they're both pretty much based on the same premise, aren't they?

 

(...but with the key exception being that Kirk only had ONE horsepower at his disposal while on the run, and whereas Barry had somethin' like 400 times that amount available to him) ;)

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Cid, if you aren't aware, the dvd of  VANISHING POINT has both the US and European versions of the film, additional footage was shot. There is also  audio commentary from the film's director.

Actually I have the DVD.  Don't know if I have ever watched the European version.  Probably need to do that.  I do not play audio commentary when I watch movies.  Don't mind an intro before a movie or comments after, but why watch a movie if someone is going to be talking about it the whole time and drowning out the dialogue?

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Now, THIS is a flick a lot of "boomers" would consider a "classic".  

 

 

Sepiatone

Yep, and I'm one of them. Saw this in college at a drive-in as part of a perfect double bill with Peter Fonda's Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.

 

For the record, I was driving a '68 Oldsmobile Delta 88 with a 455-cubic-inch V-8.

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Those who like VANISHING POINT and DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY might also like the 1972 movie "THE DAREDEVIL" starring George Montgomery.  It's a short movie; only runs 72 minutes.  Sidney Poitier's older brother Cyril plays a mortician who's got an ax to grind with George and George plays a not-so-nice race-car driver.  Also stars Terry Moore. 

 

     I've got the DVD that's been previously spoken of regarding "VANISHING POINT", but I've not watched the European cut with Charlotte Rampling . . . yet. 

 

     I snagged the old Magnetic Video Corporation release from 1978 or '79 many moons ago and watched it.  Amazing how grainy those old Mag. video releases are.  Yet the videocassettes are built like bricks so they're durable.

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As luck would have it, I awoke at 2AM this morning, and upon turning on the TV, this was just coming on. A late friend of mine loved this movie and watched it every time it was televised...I recall when it was released that we went to the theaters to see it several times. It is no doubt a "classic car cult classic"...I purchased the DVD with both the US and European releases, and the the European version with Charlotte Rampling didn't really register with me, I honestly didn't feel that she added anything to the movie, and feel that the US version without her was good on it's own merits....In any event, I love this movie, and despite owning the DVD,  always take the opportunity to view it when it is televised.

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Yep, and I'm one of them. Saw this in college at a drive-in as part of a perfect double bill with Peter Fonda's Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.

 

For the record, I was driving a '68 Oldsmobile Delta 88 with a 455-cubic-inch V-8.

 

Good ride!

 

I however, was driving a '65 Dodge Coronet 500 with a 383 4 barrel!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Actually I have the DVD.  Don't know if I have ever watched the European version.  Probably need to do that.  I do not play audio commentary when I watch movies.  Don't mind an intro before a movie or comments after, but why watch a movie if someone is going to be talking about it the whole time and drowning out the dialogue?

Cid, one of the things that motivates me to buy a dvd is that it has audio commentary, or some other "special" feature. If I've not seen the movie before (or maybe I saw it a long time ago) I will first watch the movie by itself. Since the movie interests me (or the actors involved) I later watch with the audio commentary.  I might even be doing something else during playback, I want to hear the back story, about the actors, the director, how a scene was filmed, special effects, etc.  About VANISHING POINT, the "foreign" version has a few short scenes  included that usually aren't in the copy we see in the US.  I believe many films are like that, different markets/countries have different sensibilities about nudity and violence. Here in good old America we can't tolerate a scene  of a naked body or some sexual behavior but , violence, the more graphic the better .  Other people have opposite standards.

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Just watched the UK version.   As far as I can tell, It is exactly like the US version with two exceptions.

1. Charlotte Rampling receives second billing after Barry Newman on opening credits.

2. She has a very brief scene inserted very near the end.  The scene makes little sense and really disrupts the flow of the movie, especially approaching the climax.

Interestingly, she is not listed in closing credits although all other actors are.

Not comparing them side by side, but both US and UK versions seem to have the same scenes, nudity, violence, etc. except for Rampling's brief appearance.

I pulled out my atlas while I was watching it and tried to track Kowalski's trip.  Road references, etc. are not totally accurate, but pretty close all things considered.  Some of the higway  markers are appropriate for the route he would have taken.

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regarding the UK version....

"According to interviews with Barry Newman and commentary from the director, the hitchhiker (Rampling) was meant to be an allegorical figure representing death.[6] This scene was removed from the final US version, reducing the film from 105 minutes to 98 minutes. Newman felt that the scene gave the film "an allegorical lift" but the studio was afraid that the audience would not understand."

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Actually I have the DVD.  Don't know if I have ever watched the European version.  Probably need to do that.  I do not play audio commentary when I watch movies.  Don't mind an intro before a movie or comments after, but why watch a movie if someone is going to be talking about it the whole time and drowning out the dialogue?

 

I LOVE commentaries - especially if they're by the director or a film historian. Naturally, I wouldn't turn them on if I was watching the movie for the first time, but once I'm familiar with the movie I find I pick up on missed or unstated aspects through listening to the commentaries at least once. Very informative (as long as they aren't done by just the actors - those tend to be pretty superficial).

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regarding the UK version....

"According to interviews with Barry Newman and commentary from the director, the hitchhiker (Rampling) was meant to be an allegorical figure representing death.[6] This scene was removed from the final US version, reducing the film from 105 minutes to 98 minutes. Newman felt that the scene gave the film "an allegorical lift" but the studio was afraid that the audience would not understand."

I sort of got that it was an hallucination or dream about death, etc., but it just did not fit with the movie.  Movie seemed to be proceeding quite well down one track and then all of a sudden, it's night time and he is stopping in a hilly area with trees on a dirt road to pick up a hitch hiker.  Then he wakes up by himself and proceeds to where he was going.

Almost looked as if someone said, Hey, let's get a British or European actress in here to boost up Euro distribution.  Then we'll give her second billing even though she is barely in it.  Who's in town with a name?

His smile at the end tells viewer all they need to know about death.

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I never saw VANISHING POINT in the theatre, I assume that  is  the U S edit  version seen on the dvd.  And yet I believe that HBO / CINEMAX may have broadcast the film at some time, I do remember seeing Charlotte's scene , probably then . Most of the time I've seen  the film played on regular tv, always edited down in some way.  Remember when  this film was made, there is a lot of  "messaging"  open to interpretation, sometimes nothing makes much sense to me.

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