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Film / Breaking Point (1976)

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Breaking Point is a 1976 crime drama/action film written by Stanley Mann and Roger Swaybill and directed by Bob Clark.

While walking home one night, Michael McBain (Bo Svenson) witnesses a murder by goons working for a powerful criminal organization. Michael testifies against the goons in court, sending some of them to prison. Although police detective Frank Sirrianni (Robert Culp) assures Michael that he's in no danger of reprisal, Vincent Karbone (John Colicos), a construction manager and the leader of the organization, is furious at being made to look like a fool and orders attacks on everyone connected to Michael. Michael, his sister Diana (Belinda Montgomery), his wife Helen (Linda Sorenson), and Helen's son Andy (Jeffrey Lynas) are forced to go into witness protection, but the attacks continue. Finally Michael has had enough and sets out to take down the criminals himself.

Breaking Point contains examples of:

  • Amicable Exes: Helen is still on good terms with Andy's father Peter (Stephen Young).
  • And Starring: "Bo Svenson, Robert Culp, John Colicos in Breaking Point, also starring..."
  • Big "NO!": Diana's boyfriend Ted Buchanan (Alan McRae) yells "Noooo!" as he falls off a bridge after getting shot.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Michael is a judo instructor and former Marine.
  • Eye Scream: Michael digs his fingers into the eyes of the violent rapist and thug Vigorito (Gerry Salsberg).
  • Good Stepfather: Michael and Andy have a close, loving relationship.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: Helen is pregnant, which adds to Michael's worry for her.
  • Manly Tears: Michael cries when he learns that Ted Buchanan is dead.
  • Man on Fire: One goon throws a wad of burning cloth at Peter, causing him to catch fire until Michael pushes him into a river.
  • Overcrank: Used in some of the action scenes.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Vincent wants to kill everyone close to Michael before he kills Michael himself.
  • Searching the Stalls: Michael hides in a railway yard bathroom while Vigorito kicks open all the doors one by one. When he gets to Michael's stall, Michael swings the door open and knocks Vigorito over.
  • Shooting Gallery: Michael already knows how to fire a gun from his time in the Marines, but he goes to a shooting gallery for a refresher course.
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: Vincent wants to build Confluence City, a city built in concentric circles with buildings that contain apartments, schools, and businesses of all kinds, so that a family can live without ever leaving their building. He proudly shows off the model to some of his underlings.
  • Title In: "TORONTO" appears over an establishing shot when the family goes into witness protection there.
  • Undignified Death: After Michael kills Vigorito, he pulls his pants down and leaves him on the toilet.