Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Can it really be that John Boorman's POINT BLANK was released in 1967? Can it really be forty years old? I had not seen it for a few years and when I sat down to watch it last night I was astonished at how great it looks - every bit as fresh and innovative as it did on its first viewing. It simply hasn't aged. Based on Richard Stark's novel "The Hunter"(which was also the basis of Mel Gibson's entertaining but relatively minor PAYBACK) the film tells the story of Walker who is double-crossed by his wife and best friend and left for dead during a heist. Walker returns to take revenge and claim his $93,000 share of the loot ("Well, somebody's gotta pay") in what, on the surface seems a simple plot. But unlike many crime films of the time John Boorman sets out to engage his audience on a far deeper level than plain story-telling. Boorman's chosen style demands that the viewer meets the film half way. It is one of those films where the world seems slightly off kilter - the scene where Walker visits his ex-wife's apartment is a good example. It is fully furnished, she kills herself, the apartment is unfurnished, the body vanishes. Of course, it is very much a film about memory and Boorman himself has said that the interpretation that Walker really does die in the pre-credit sequence and then returns from the dead is a perfectly valid interpretation. Walker is played by Lee Marvin, giving one of his greatest performances, proving what Robert Mitchum always knew : Less is more. Simply one of the key American films of the Sixties if not of all time. Rating *****

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

You'd better stop talking about all these movies which I haven't seen but am now desperate to see because you talk about them so wonderfully!!! I need more money!!!