Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Angie Dickinson, Lee Marvin, Carroll O'Connor
POINT BLANK (1967). Director: John Boorman.

"How'd we get into this mess?"

Walker  (Lee Marvin of The Big Heat) was betrayed by his associate, Reese (John Vernon) and his wife (Sharon Acker of The New Perry Mason) during a heist. Now Walker is on the loose and wants revenge on Reese, who is now trying to make time with his sister-in-law, Chris (Angie Dickinson). As part of his revenge Walker will take on top executives in the mafia-like group called the Organization. Point Blank is based on "The Hunter," the first of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake's Parker novels but it's much more confusing and less entertaining than the novel. In the early sections of the film the direction and editing are pretentious in that certain sixties style that was supposed to pass for being "cinematic" but only looks stupid. Parker/Walker is a stoic no-nonsense character but Lee Marvin still sort of walks through the movie, and Dickinson is badly miscast [the scene with Marvin and Dickinson in bed together has to be seen to be believed]. Vernon strikes a better note, as do Lloyd Bochner [The Night Walker] and Carroll O'Connor as other criminal bigwigs. Keenan Wynn plays an odd role and this is one of the rare times that the actor is unpersuasive. Transplanting the story from New York to L.A. doesn't help, although there are some interesting locations for the action.

Verdict: Some good scenes, but too illogical and silly at times. **1/2.

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