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A car delivery driver leads the police on a merry chase to win a bet.
At 10:02 Friday night in Denver, Kowalski, who drives cars from Denver to San Francisco for the Argos Car Transport Company, delivers a car and picks up a white Dodge Challenger to drive right back to California. On his way out of town, Kowalski stops to buy some Benzedrine to fuel him for the trip. When Kowalski tells Jake, his drug dealer, that he intends to reach San Francisco by three p.m. the following day, Jake bets him the cost of the drugs that he will never make it. Meanwhile, in the semi-deserted ghost town of Goldfield, Super Soul, a blind black man, enters a makeshift radio station and begins to broadcast soul music, which Kowalski listens to while racing along the highway. When a highway patrol officer on a motorcycle tries to pull over Kowalski for speeding, Kowalski passes him, and when another motorcycle patrolman joins the pursuit, Kowalski runs them both off the road. Barreling on, Kowalski avoids another patrolman by crashing through a construction barrier and landing his car on an adjoining road. Frustrated, the police issue an all-points bulletin for Kowalski that is heard by Super Soul, who monitors the police transmissions in the area. Pursued by several police cars, Kowalski jumps the road and plows his car down to the road below. When another police car pulls out in front of him, Kowalski slaloms his car onto the dirt, leaving the police car skidding behind him. As Kowalski continues on, a driver in a sports car challenges him to a race, then sideswipes his car. Kowalski roars past the sports car, and when the driver tries to pass him, Kowalski forces him off the road, sending the car tumbling into a dry river bed. Hearing police sirens in the distance, Kowalski makes sure the driver is uninjured, then tears off. With Colorado highway patrolmen in pursuit, Kowalski crosses the state border into Nevada, leaving his Colorado pursuers behind. Impressed by Kowalski's feat, Super Soul pays tribute to him on his radio program, naming him the "last American hero because he is the last free soul on the planet." In the Nevada desert, two police officers are radioed to watch for the white Challenger. When Kowalski sees the officers' car and deliberately drives toward them to force them off the road, they angrily pursue him as a Colorado police bulletin comes over their radio, describing Kowalski as a professional race driver. When one of the officers loses control of his car, they are forced to flag down another police car to continue the pursuit. Jumping off the road, Kowalski heads into the desert as Super Soul cautions that he will never be able to beat the desert. When one of the Challenger's tires goes flat, Kowalski stops to change it. While bending over the tire, Kowalski spots a coiled rattlesnake about to strike when a grizzled old prospector appears, lassoes the snake and locks it in his basket. When Kowalski asks the prospector for help, the old man, whose truck has broken down, agrees if Kowalski will drive him to his destination. The prospector then camouflages Kowalski's car with sagebrush, concealing it from the police helicopter hovering overhead. After the helicopter flies off, Kowalski drives the prospector to a desert revival meeting led by J. Hovah. When the prospector delivers the snakes to Hovah, Hovah irritably states that he has turned from snakes to music to get his message across and unceremoniously dumps the reptiles onto the ground. Although Hovah is angry that the prospector brought a stranger to the meeting, he furnishes Kowalski with a can of gas to fill up his tank after which the prospector gives Kowalski directions on how to navigate out of the desert. At the Nevada highway patrol headquarters, meanwhile, a Telex arrives detailing Kowalski's past, revealing that after serving in Vietnam, he joined the police force but was dishonorably discharged in 1968. Angered at Super Soul for broadcasting helpful information to Kowalski, several vigilantes break into the radio station, beat up Super Soul and smash the facilities, thus silencing the station. Soon after, Angel, a hippie motorcyclist, pulls up beside Kowalski's car and asks if he needs help. When Kowalski asks him for some pep pills, Angel leads him to a shack he shares with his girl friend. When the radio station comes back on and Super Soul advises that Sonora is the only border crossing not blocked by the police, Kowalski suspects a trap and Angel rides out to investigate. Upon returning with the news that the police are waiting in Sonora for Kowalski, Angel helps him disguise the Challenger as a police vehicle. Consequently, when Kowalski, with siren wailing and lights flashing, speeds toward the Sonora border crossing, the police mistake his car for an official vehicle and in their haste to clear the road, smash their cars into one another. In California, the highway patrol, with their sophisticated, automated tracking system, calmly reassure their Nevada colleagues that they will apprehend Kowalski. On Sunday morning, Super Soul broadcasts gospel music and renames the station "Kowalski." Meanwhile, on the road from Sonora to San Francisco, the police trundle in bulldozers to blockade Kowalski while the townsfolk gather, waiting for Kowalski's arrival. Soon after, Kowalski comes roaring in, crashing his car into the blades of the bulldozers. As the car explodes into a ball of fire, Super Soul sits silently and the spectators gawk, then walk away.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||GP||Premiere Info:||Los Angeles opening: 18 Mar 1971; New York opening: 24 Mar 1971|
|Release Date:||1971||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (DeLuxe)||Distributions Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Cupid Productions|
|Duration(mins):||99 or 107||Country:||United States|
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In and of itself it was a good movie for back in the day. The only thing that I didn't like was the ending. It was very shocking because I did not...