Point Blank


directed by: John Boorman

Not a Cary Grant or Debbie Reynolds movie?! I know, it’s a shock.  So this is Point Blank, from 1967 starring Lee Marvin and Angie (grrrowl) Dickinson. Also not to be confused with Grosse Point Blank with John Cusack or Payback with Mel Gibson.  More on that later.  So basically Point Blank has been done many times over from its book series, The Hunter, and this is the first (and arguably) best rendition.  Marvin stars as Walker, a Dirty Harry-esque guy that plays by his own rules, but not actually a cop.  We don’t really see what the hell his actual career is, other than being a cold-blooded badass.  So he goes in on this job to steal money from (assumedly or maybe I’m just making it up) a drug exchange on Alcatraz.  Well his partner (played by Dean Wormer from Animal House, aka the mayor from Dirty Harry) and wife (who I assumed was Angie Dickinson, but wasn’t) double cross him after they get the money. 93,000 dollars.  In 1967.  So in today’s money, maybe like 150 grand.  Not chump change by any means.  Well Dean Wormer shoots him twice and leaves him for dead on Alcatraz.  Well he doesn’t stay dead, so he recovers and then just blindly starts following this guy that helps him track down Dean Wormer and his wife.  Hijinks ensue, and his wife kills herself for feeling guilty about what she’s done, and he ends up throwing Dean Wormer off the top of his gigantic penthouse.  Sweet. Then he ends up on double secret probation, gets pissed, and just keeps going after every guy’s boss asking for the 93,000.  When they don’t pay he kills them….errr… has them killed…errr…watches them die. There’s a real small twist at the end, and it’s unclear if he ever gets the 93,000.  If you’ve seen Payback with Mel Gibson, it’s basically the same.  They even rip off exact lines from this.

Oh yeah, Angie Dickinson plays the wife’s sister, who basically just looks nice and sleeps with Marvin and Dean Wormer. Most of this movie takes place in the dark, like really frustrating dark, really hard to make out what’s going on in a lot of scenes. I appreciated the traveling outdoor scenes in LA in the 60’s, not much has changed as far as the look of the city.  The cinematography is pretty decent too. And Archie Bunker is in it and has a gigantic house for some reason.

Underrated actors: John Vernon as Dean Wormer… no I mean Mal Reese.  Note: He doesn’t actually mention double secret probation in this movie.


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