Point Blank (1967)

Point Blank–not to be confused with the Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze Point Break–is one of GQ’s top ten little-seen guy movies, and it’s recommended highly in the back pages of Ed Brubaker’s excellent comic series, Criminal. Lee Marvin is Walker, the man done wrong. In what is perhaps one of the best movie opening sequences ever, we see Marvin double crossed by his partner (John Vernon) who later played Dean Wormer in Animal House. This was the first movie filmed at at Alcatraz after the closing of that prison. Angie Dickinson is sultry and lovely as Chris, the sexy sister-in-law; Marvin is scary and intense as a man whose old-school revenge is curiously ineffective in the new, credit-card age. Here’s how badass Marvin was–in a rehearsal, he hit Vernon so hard he made him cry. My favorite exchange of the film:

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

Point Blank was remade as Payback, which is widely denigrated by noir snobs. About 30% of it was reshot for the theatrical release when the director, Brian Helgeland was replaced. The director’s cut is supposed to be an improvement, and something of a redemption.

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