Mal Reese is in a real bind - owing a good deal of money to his organized crime bosses - and gets his friend Walker to join him in a heist. It goes off without a hitch but when Reese realizes the take isn't as large as he had hoped, he kills Walker - or so he thinks. Some time later, Walker decides the time has come get his share of the money and starts with his ex-wife Lynne who took up with Reese after the shooting. That leads him on a trail - to his wife's sister Chris, to Reese himself, then onto Big Stegmam, then Frederick Carter and on and up the line of gangsters all in an effort to get money from people who simply won't acknowledge that he's owed anything. Written by
Lee Marvin's appearance in this movie was an inspiration for the look of the main character in His Name Is Savage!, an early graphic novel created by comics legend Gil Kane. Kane and his publisher did not approach Marvin about the use of his likeness. Kane noted that they "never had any trouble from Lee Marvin - obviously he never saw the goddamn thing." However, reprints of the graphic novel downplayed the resemblance to Marvin. See more »
While hiding out at Lynn's apartment after her death, Walker battles flashbacks and walks into an empty room and squats in the corner holding his head. The sound of his shoes clicking on the hardwood floor can be heard, although he is wearing only socks. See more »
Cell. Prison Cell. How did I get here?
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I first saw this movie when I was in college in the Seventies. I viewed the film again in 2001. The power of the film was the same on my senses. Several reasons come up: British Director John Boorman was at his best trying to outdo Don Siegel's The Killers (1967)-which also stars Marvin and Dickinson in somewhat similar roles. I will really be surprised if Boorman denies that he was not influenced by the Siegel movie.
Why did Point Blank make an impact on me? Was it Lee Marvin's raw machismo? No. It was Boorman, who gave cinema a brilliant essay on alienation. When Dickinson's Chris asks Marvin's Walker 'What's my last name?' after a bout of sex and gets a repartee 'What's my first name?' you can argue the alienation is embedded in the dialog. But Boorman's cinema includes the loud footsteps of a determined Walker on the soundtrack, somewhat like Godard in Alpahaville, contrasting bright wide open spaces for the exchange of money that goes according to plan and closed dimly lit confines of Alcatraz for those that go wrong. There is laconic humor without laughter, pumping bullets into an empty bed, guards who narrowly miss Marvin going up the lift, the car salesman's interest in an attractive customer than in his job, the sharpshooter's smug satisfaction not realizing that he has got the wrong man The list is endless.
The camera-work of Philip Lathrop is inventive, but was it Lathrop or Boorman that made the visual appeal of the Panavision format of this film come alive?
Viewing the film in 2001, several points emerge. $93,000 was important to Walker, nothing more nothing less. But was it money he was after or was it the value of an agreement among thieves? The open ended finale runs parallel to the end of an Arthur Penn film (also on alienation)called "Night Moves" made some 10 years later. What surprises me is how a good movie like Point Blank never won an award or even an Oscar nomination.
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