Last night I visited my favorite theater in Hollywood, The Egyptian. It always showcases great retro movies, and it’s wonderful to see them on the big screen. Many times there are actors or directors from the movie for a Q and A after the film. I couldn’t miss “Vanishing Point”, a great car chase / road trip movie made in 1971. Paul Koslo, the actor who portrayed the (very mean) young cop in the movie, was there to reminisce about the groovy shoot of 10 weeks. The movie stars Barry Newman, a Vietnam war hero and ex-cop who develops a Forrest Gump-type following in his quest to beat the police through the western desert in his turbo white Charger. The film had some incredible shots and amazing car chases, and some really humorous dialogue that only belonged in the 70′s. At one point, Barry Newman flashbacks to a moment (when he was still a cop) with his girlfriend on the California coast, who rolls a joint and says “Wouldn’t it be funny if I turned you on and you turned me in?” Then she proceeds into the ocean to surf and promptly drowns.
What I love about screenings at the Egyptian is the warm and rowdy audience; they are always film and retro lovers who vocally express their pleasure with the films. There were quite a few laughs! I guess the real star of the show was the white Charger. The era of American muscle cars was a unique time in history. Those cars are worth tens of thousands of dollars now….if you can find them!!!