Saturday, January 1, 2011

Point Blank

Lee Marvin is Walker, a man participating in a heist who is shot and left for dead by his partner and wife. He survives and returns, wanting his cut of the money. Also starring Angie Dickinson, directed by John Boorman.

The film is some sort of masterpiece, I guess, a revisionist noir heavily influenced by the nouvelle vague and European art cinema. It's an interesting film, a document of it's era in the same way as Blow Up and Don't Look Now, the time when the director was king. I still have some mixed feelings about it. You get the impression that Boorman doesn't really care that much about the book the film was based on, seeing the film more as an exercise, an opportunity to show off. While watching, I was a bit curious about how Marvin felt about doing such an arty film - I imagined him to be more old school, but there is a commentary track by Boorman and Steven Soderbergh, and it turns out Marvin helped in shaping the script. Boorman also talks about how he uses colour in the film.

Lee Marvin is, of course, very good in his part, looking like the definition of iconic. Dickinson is also solid in the girl-part, and there is a very funny scene in the film of her hitting him with all she's got and Marvin taking it, never changing expression. The film was later remade as Payback, with Mel Gibson in the Marvin part. I've never seen the whole of that film, but it makes you forgive Boorman for a certain artiness in the original.


  1. LDarwin Cooke did the comic adaptation of the Richard Starking novel this is based on.

  2. I haven't read the comic adaptation yet. I'd like to read the original novel also.

  3. Love that scene with Dickinson exhausting herself pounding Walkers chest. She get's him with a pool cue later, though. Also, the scene where Walker is leaving through a parking garage, and somebody strats shooting at him. Does he duck? No, just takes two calms steps back behind a pillar and waits, while cops arrest the shooter. Cool as ice..

  4. Like the movie better than the comic btw. Though Cooke is a brilliant artist. The ambiguous movie ending is much better, a sort of "Fool's Gold" motif. When Walker get's what he was after, he doesn't know what to do with it.