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Film / Point Blank (1967)

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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.

A stylish and taut 1967 neo-noir crime thriller film, directed by John Boorman and starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson.

Walker (Marvin) is pulling a heist on Alcatraz Island with his partner Reese (John Vernon) when Reese betrays him, taking both the money ($93,000) and Walker's wife Lynne (Sharon Acker) and leaving him for dead. Walker survives the shooting and, with the help of the mysterious figure Yost (Keenan Wynn), begins to hunt down Reese, his wife and the money.

It turns out Reese needed the cash to pay off a debt to the mysterious Organization, a crime syndicate led by a trio of bosses. So not only does Walker have to deal with Reese, but also a large criminal enterprise with enough resources to take down one lonely man...

Based on the novel The Hunter by Donald Westlake (using the pseudonym "Richard Stark"), the first of a series in which the central character is named Parker, not Walker. Remade as Payback with Mel Gibson.

Point Blank includes examples of these tropes:

  • Big Bad: There's a trio of Organization bosses — Carter, Brewster and Fairfax. Walker tricks Carter into getting killed, and kidnaps Brewster to force payment. When the drop is being made, Brewster gets shot, and the one shooting him - Yost - turns out to be Fairfax.
  • Bikini Bar: Walker tracks Chris to a nightclub where go-go dancers in bikinis wiggle on a side stage.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Walker will do anything to get an upper hand in a fight—such as giving a mook a Groin Attack.
  • Decoy Antagonist: Reese is established as Walker's main antagonist for betraying him and stealing his share, but he's ultimately only a minor cog in the Organization and Walker kills him about halfway through the movie.
  • Determinator: The Organization should really pay him his money.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The little dialog in the film is strange and repetitive. It is all part of the stylized world.
  • Down L.A. Drain: The Organization lays a trap for Walker in the LA River, the world's most famous concrete ditch, where he is supposed to pick up his money. Walker sees through it.
  • Droste Image: This effect is produced by a mirror reflecting another mirror, when Lynne is getting her hair done in a beauty salon.
  • Dying Dream: Or so says the director.
  • Film Noir: Like Chinatown, this movie is a Film Noir that escaped into the daylight where it became even harsher and more cynical.
  • Flashback Cut: To the point of non-linearity at times. The opening sequence has repeated quick flashback cuts to the scene where Reese tackles Walker at a party and forcefully explains to him that he needs Walker's help, intercut with scenes of Reese and Walker on Alcatraz stealing the $93K.
  • Groin Attack: Walker defeats a mook by punching him in the balls - and punching him so hard that he remains curled up clutching himself.
  • How We Got Here: Walker even says "How did I get here?", in the opening narration, when he is shot in an Alcatraz cell. Then the film jumps back to earlier in the story.
  • Implacable Man: Walker, who will not stop until he gets his money.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Walker could show Bauer a thing or twelve about getting information.
  • MacGuffin: $93,000. Walker really, really wants it back.
  • Neutral Female: Chris (played by Dickinson), Walker's sister-in-law, who reluctantly sides with Walker after discovering her sister's death.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Many.
  • Only One Name: Walker.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: While one theory holds that the film is a Dying Dream as Walker dies in an Alcatraz cell, another theory is that Walker is a ghost. Note how he sort of fades back into the shadows at the end of the film.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Lee Marvin faked the recoil from the .44 Magnum when he shoots in Lynne's bed. These were in fact blanks, but afterward when shooting in Alcatraz they tried with real bullets and there was no recoil at all.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: More like Silent Rampage of Revenge.
  • Silence Is Golden: The film is famously laconic.
  • The Syndicate: The Organization.
  • Tap on the Head: "We just knock 'em on the head, it's that simple!" Although Reese says this, when they jump the mooks Reese shoots them instead.
  • Villain Protagonist: Walker, who after all is a criminal and a murderer.
  • Wakeup Makeup: As per procedure, Chris's hair is perfectly styled and her makeup is on when she's roused from sleep in the middle of the night by Walker.
  • We Can Rule Together: At the end of the movie, the Big Bad offers Walker a position as The Dragon, saying he's been searching all his life for someone like him. Walker refuses to respond, waiting in concealment until he's left.
  • Wedding Ring Removal: After Walker finds Lynne dead, OD'd on pills, he takes his wedding ring off and puts it on her finger along with her own.