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Drama - Gangland

Point Blank (1967)

Duration1h 32m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: Not Rated, Spain: 13 
Source of storyBased on the book “Hunter” by Donald E. Westlake.
DirectorJohn Boorman
Writers/ScriptAlexander Jacobs, David Newhouse, Rafe Newhouse
StarringLee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, KeenanWynn, Carroll O’Connor, Lloyd Bochner, John Vernon, Sharon Acker, James Sikking, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.3/10 by 20,956 people .  Rotten Tomatoes: 92% by 38 reviewers. Review2view: 6.5/10.

Elevator Pitch: After a successful robbery of a criminal gang out at the deserted Alcatraz Mal Reese steals the proceeds, shoots his partner, Walker, leaving him for dead and departs with Walker’s wife. But Walker seems to have survived and embarks on a deadly process to recover his share of the cash starting by throwing Reece off a balcony and then working his way upwards in the criminal fraternity of Los Angeles, despite efforts on their part to terminate him. He is helped, so it seems by Yost who has an interest in his success, and by his wife’s sister Chris, although her motivation is a bit obscure.

Content: Sex is implied and at one point Chris is seen dressing in the background. Much smoking and drinking. Walker is shot at the beginning of the film and we see him beginning to swim for the mainland. Later he is seen in a tour boat sailing round the prison with Yost, who asks him how he got away from the prison. There are flashbacks to earlier points in the film which we have already seen. A sharpshooter is employed by some of the criminal hierarchy, but he fails to shoot Walker who always seems to be one step ahead.

A View: This outing is seen today as a successful film noir with a cult following although it was not a big success back in 1967. Some think either that Walker is a ghost (unlikely in my view), or that the whole film is a hallucination he is suffering as he is dying. Boorman has said you just have to take it as it is, but followers of films involving Alcatraz will remember that no-one has ever survived the swim due to adverse currents. I found the flashbacks irritating but enjoyed the atmosphere. Worth a watch then, its only an hour and a half of your life.

Revenge is a quite well known motive in plots involving the criminal fraternity and a number have been reviewed on this site. They include: Cold Pursuit, Four Brothers and Harry Brown.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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