Thursday, September 20, 2007

Overlooked Movie: Point Blank

"He knew the depth of our capacity for cruelty and depravity from his war experiences. He had committed such deeds, had plumbed the depths, and was prepared to recount what he had seen down there." ~Director John Boorman on Lee Marvin's acting

They double-crossed Walker, took his $93,000 cut of the heist and left him for dead, but they didn't finish the job. Big mistake. He - someday, somehow - is going to finish them. Lee Marvin is in full antihero mode as remorseless Walker, talking the talk and walking the walk in John Boorman's edgy neo-noir classic filled with imaginative New Wave style, blunt dialogue and Walker's relentless quest that, one by one, smashes into the corporate pecking order of a crime group called the Organization. Angie Dickinson plays the accomplice who uses her seductive wiles to ensnare one of Walker's prey. "I want my 93 grand," Walker growls at him. Throughout, the payoff to that demand is action that "hits like a fat slug from the .38 Lee Marvin uses as an extension of his fist".

Click here to watch the preview:

Tagline: There are two kinds of people in his up-tight world: his victims and his women. And sometimes you can't tell them apart.

Fun Trivia:
Lee Marvin was a marine sniper during WWII and was nearly killed in a Japanese foray that wiped out most of his platoon. Says he learned to "act" in the Marines, trying to act unafraid during ferocious combat, which brought him a Purple Heart during invasion of Saipan. Friends said he never fully recovered from these experiences...who could?

This was the first major picture to film on location at Alcatraz Island after the closure of the Federal prison in 1963.

During a rehearsal taking place in the home of Lee Marvin, he hit John Vernon so hard that it made Vernon cry.

When Walker, in Chris' company, switches on the TV at Brewster's house, the music you hear is the overture to Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg"

Despite his reputation as an angel of death, Walker, the character played by Lee Marvin never actually kills anyone. Of the five people to die in the film one would die by suicide, one by an accidental fall, and three would be killed by an assassin played by James B. Sikking (yep Dougie Howser M.D.'s daddy).

Filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino and a slew of Hong Kong action directors credit this film as being one of their biggest cinema influences.
This film has been remade twice; the first remake was the Hong Kong cinema classic Full Contact with Chow Yun Fat and again in 1999 as Payback with Mel Gibson in the lead role.

The body of Lee Marvin was interred next to that of Joe Louis in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Fun Quotes:
Brewster: You're a very bad man, Walker, a very destructive man! Why do you run around doing things like this?
Walker: I want my money. I want my $93,000.
Brewster: $93,000? You threaten a financial structure like this for $93,000? No, Walker, I don't believe you. What do you really want?
Walker: I - I really want my money.
Brewster: Well, I'm not going to give you any money and nobody else is. Don't you understand that?
Walker: Who runs things?
Brewster: Carter and I run things. I run things.
Walker: What about Fairfax? Will he pay me?
Brewster: Fairfax is a man who signs checks.
Walker: No, cash.
Brewster: Fairfax isn't going to give you anything. He's finished. Fairfax is dead. He just doesn't know it yet.
Walker: Somebody's got to pay.

Chris: What's my last name?
Walker: What's my first name?

And as a special bonus here is an interview of Lee Marvin talking about John Boorman.


Distributorcap said...

love Lee Marvin
two of my favorite movies are The Dirty Dozen and Ship of Fools

Neil Sarver said...

I agree. There's nothing that isn't powerful and inspiring about Point Blank. I could watch it every day, except it wouldn't be fair to the other movies.

Joe said...

Excellent movie!

Lee Marvin is a god-like figure among men. There is a semi-secret society to which I'd love to belong called The Sons of Lee Marvin. Ever hear of it?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I too love Lee but my favorite is Cat Ballou.

Becca said...

Lee Marvin is indeed great! I've seen The Dirty Dozen but haven't heard of Ship of Fools. I will check it out!

I really, really enjoyed this movie! John Boorman can be such a terriffic know when he's not making Zardoz. Lee Marvin was so good in this, we just don't have actors like him working today.

Damn that's cool! I had no idea The Sons of Lee Marvin even existed! It's the kind of thing that makes me wish I were a guy just so I could join. That said Jarmusch does look a lot like Lee Marvin! I never thought about that.

Dr. Monkey-
Cat Ballou is indeed an awesome movie! And a previous overlooked movie. There is nothing that Lee Marvin could not play.

Splotchy said...

Nice write-up! I love this movie!

I was lucky enough to see it for the first time several ago in optimum cinematic conditions. It was a brand new print, shown in a large, old moviehouse (the Music Box in Chicago).

One point I'd like to stress -- though you mentioned Angie Dickinson was in the movie, you didn't mention her nude scene, something still pretty shocking for its time. Plus, it was Angie Dickinson. MROWR!

Becca said...

That must have been amazing! I've actually never made it out to the music box theater but I hear it's just beautiful. And wow a new print! How very cool!

You know I didn't even think about the early nude scene, that's a great fact to bring up though. Angie Dickinson was so lovely in that movie, I looked everywhere for more pictures of her but could find very few. Bet I could find pics of the nude scene though. probably would have included them if I had thought of it. Sigh...missed opportunity.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the movie is based on the book by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake), and a remake, or another rendition of the book to be exact, has been done in 1999 by Brian Helgeland, under the name Payback. In fact i'm currently working on this adaptation, i'm studying litterature in university. Glad to hear about Lee Marvin & Point Blank here :)

Johnny Yen said...

I wanded over here from Samurai Frog's blog.

Point Blank is a classic! I just Netflixed it a couple of months ago after having not seen it for a number of years.

The remake of it, Mel Gibson's Payback is a pale comparison.

Lee Marvin had a number of great movies-- Hell In the Pacific, The Killers, Deathhunt-- he was marvelous.

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