Point Blank – John Boorman (1967)

Point Blank is a 1967 American crime film directed by John Boorman, starring Lee Marvin, co-starring Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn and Carroll O’Connor, and adapted from the 1963 crime noir pulp novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake, writing as Richard Stark. Boorman directed the film at Marvin’s request and Marvin played a central role in the film’s development. The film was not a box-office success in 1967, but has since gone on to become a cult classic, eliciting praise from such critics as film historian David Thomson. … Walker works with his friend Mal Reese to rob a major crime operation, ambushing the courier on deserted Alcatraz Island. After counting the money, Reese shoots Walker, leaving him for dead. Reese takes the money and Walker’s wife, Lynne. Walker recovers. With assistance from the mysterious Yost, Walker sets out to find Reese and recover his half of the robbery: $93,000. Reese used all of the money from the job to pay back a debt to a crime syndicate called ‘The Organization.’ … Point Blank combines elements of film noir with stylistic touches of the European nouvelle vague. The film features a fractured time-line (similar to the novel’s non-linear structure), disconcerting narrative rhythms (long, slow passages contrasted with sudden outbursts of violence) and a carefully calculated use of film space (stylized compositions of concrete riverbeds, sweeping bridges, empty prison cells). Boorman credits Marvin with coming up with a lot of the visual metaphors in the film. Boorman said that as the film progressed, scenes would be filmed monochromatically around one color (the chilly blues and grays of Acker’s apartment, Dickinson’s butter yellow bathrobe, the startling red wall in Vernon’s penthouse) to give the proceedings a ‘sort of unreality’. To establish Walker’s mythic stature, Soderbergh noted in the commentary, the film cuts from a shot of Walker swimming from Alcatraz to a shot of him on a ferry overlooking the same island while a woman on the loudspeaker describes the impossibility of leaving the island. Soderbergh said that this contrast of the character’s ease of escape with the loudspeaker’s monologue makes the Walker character ‘mythic immediately’. …”
Cinema ’67 Revisited: Point Blank
YouTube: Point Blank, Official Trailer – Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, LEE MARVIN INTERVIEW on JOHN FORD & JOHN WAYNE PART 4

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