Flashpoint (1984 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||William Tannen|
|Written by||George LaFountaine (novel)
Dennis Shryack and
|Music by||Tangerine Dream|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
Flashpoint is a 1984 film starring Kris Kristofferson and Treat Williams. Rip Torn, Jean Smart, Kurtwood Smith, and Tess Harper also co-star. The movie was directed by William Tannen and based on a novel by George LaFountaine. This was the first theatrical film produced by Home Box Office (in association with Silver Screen Partners). The music score was provided by Tangerine Dream.
Flashpoint is one of at least six American films to present a dramatization portraying the assassination of John F. Kennedy as a conspiracy (the others being David Miller's 1973 film Executive Action, Alan J. Pakula's 1974 film The Parallax View, Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK, John Mackenzie's 1992 film Ruby, and Neil Burger's 2002 mockumentary Interview with the Assassin). However, Flashpoint's connection to the Kennedy assassination is not made clear until a plot twist in the film's final act.
A brief prologue, taking place in 1963, depicts a jeep crashing in a remote area in the desert.
In 1984, two Texas-based United States Border Patrol Agents, Logan (Kris Kristofferson) and Wyatt (Treat Williams), are tasked by their obnoxious boss (Kevin Conway) to begin planting motion-detection sensors in their sector at the Federal government's request, something that Wyatt believes will lead to many of the Patrol being forcibly retired and the remaining agents stuck behind computer screens all day. While Logan and Wyatt are planting a sensor, they discover a Jeep buried in the desert containing a man's skeleton (identified as Michael F. Curtis from San Antonio), a high-powered rifle, and $800,000 in cash. Logan wants to use the money to finance their escape from their brutally hard jobs and uncertain futures, while Wyatt is reluctant; they agree to put out the Jeep's license plate information to the Sheriff's department, and later discuss the matter with Sheriff Wells (Rip Torn) who tells Logan his father Matt was a hero. They take the money to a source Logan trusts and learn the bills are legitimate but somewhat unusual, as many of them were circulated directly from the Federal Reserve in Dallas and are all dated between 1962 and 1963.
Before long, Federal agent Carson (Kurtwood Smith) arrives at the Border Patrol station, ostensibly to track the sensoring system and take control of the planned bust of a major drug trafficker. However, Logan quickly dislikes and distrusts Carson, who talks way too much about Logan's heroic Vietnam War service and self-imposed exile from high-level government activities, and who later appears to deliberately blow Wyatt's cover when the team members are moving in to arrest the trafficker. Later on, Logan and Wyatt learn that their unlikable supervisor has been promoted to a job in Washington, leaving Carson as temporary head of the station. They then see an Army team taking custody of the Jeep and securing the area, and then drive to a nearby location where an old man was killed and his trailer burnt down. They figure out that two BP agents (played by Guy Boyd and Miguel Ferrer) were at the trailer site and are now missing, and find their vehicles at a house where the agents have been tortured and killed inside.
Logan is ready to leave town for good, but Carson first sends him on a solo mission to see if they can catch the trafficker from earlier. Logan finds the site is being guarded by other agents, and heads out to find the missing Wyatt, only to discover he's been stabbed to death at a remote area with Logan's duty knife. Logan is then shot and wounded by Carson and two of his agents, as other Federal agents have been tracking him with on-person surveillance gear and are awaiting his death. However, Logan's wartime skills kick in despite his injuries, and he conceals himself enough to kill two of the agents who are after him and blow a hole in Carson's leg. When Carson tries to get away, Logan confronts him and asks "Why?". Carson curses at him and raises his gun, leading Logan to kill Carson with six quickly spaced gunshots into his chest.
Logan returns to a burnt-out bunker where he and Wyatt had stored the items they took from the discovered Jeep, and holds up a rifle that he recognizes as the one that killed John F. Kennedy. Sheriff Wells has been tracking Logan as well, and shows up to confirm that Michael Curtis, not Lee Harvey Oswald, assassinated JFK, and that the U.S. Government, along with help from the Dallas Police Department, orchestrated the events of November 22, 1963. Wells tells Logan he was told to provide the money and papers so Curtis could enter Mexico from Texas, but Curtis never showed up in Mexico and Logan and Wyatt's discovery brought his nightmares back after many years. Logan expects Wells to kill him, but Wells instead tells Logan he needs to take the $800,000 and flee to Mexico himself. Logan is informed by Wells that he is accused of Wyatt's murder and will be gunned down if he tries to present the truth to the world. Wells says he'll buy Logan some time until Carson's men arrive, saying "Whatever happens should have happened years ago." Logan pledges to return, Wells wryly says he'll let them know that, and Logan drives off towards an uncertain future as the movie ends.
1984 LP album cover
|Soundtrack album by Tangerine Dream|
|Tangerine Dream chronology|
A CD version was released in 1984 on the Heavy Metal label but was soon recalled due to pressing errors that rendered the CD unplayable. The soundtrack was not released on CD again until 1995, making it very rare. The entire album was released as part of the bootleg Mystery Tracks (1993).
All tracks written by Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Johannes Schmoelling.
|2.||"Afternoon in the Desert"||3:35|
|5.||"Lost in the Dunes"||2:40|
|8.||"Mad Cap Story"||4:00|
|9.||"Dirty Cross Roads"||4:20|
|10.||"Flashpoint" (composed and performed by The Gems)||3:47|
- Edgar Froese– keyboards, electronic equipment, guitar
- Christopher Franke– synthesizers, electronic equipment, electronic percussion
- Johannes Schmoelling– keyboards, electronic equipment
- The Gems "Flashpoint"
- Kris Kristofferson as Logan
- Treat Williams as Wyatt
- Rip Torn as Wells
- Kevin Conway as Brook
- Jean Smart as Doris
- Tess Harper as Ellen
- Kurtwood Smith as Carson
- Miguel Ferrer as Roget
- Guy Boyd as Lambasino
- Flashpoint at the Internet Movie Database
- McDonald, Steven. Flashpoint - Tangerine Dream at AllMusic
- Dome, Malcolm (4 April 1985). "Tangerine Dream 'Flashpoint'". Kerrang!. London: Morgan Grampian. 91: 9.
- Berling, Michael (29 September 2016). "Flashpoint". Voices in the Net.
- Berling, Michael (29 September 2016). "Mystery Tracks". Voices in the Net.