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HIGHPOINT (director/writer: Peter Carter; screenwriters: story by Richard Guttman/Richard Guttman/Ian Sutherland; cinematographer: Albert J. Dunk ; editor: Eric Wrate; music: Chris Young; cast: Christopher Plummer (James Hatcher), Richard Harris (Lewis Kinney), Beverly D’Angelo (Lise Hatcher), Kate Reid (Mrs. Hatcher), Peter Donat (Maronzella), Saul Rubinek (Centino), Maury Chaikin (Falco), Robin Gammell (Banner); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Daniel M. Fine; True Movies; 1982-Canada)
“Exciting comedy thriller until in the end it falls on its face.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Peter Carter (“Rituals”/”Klondike Fever”/”The Intruder Within”) directs this exciting comedy thriller until in the end it falls on its face. It’s based on the story by Richard Guttman, who writes the screenplay with Ian Sutherland.

The Quebec industrialist James Hatcher (Christopher Plummer) embezzles $10 million from a joint mob and cop operation. The mob boss, Maronzella (Peter Donat), orders his goons, Falco (MauryChaykin) and Centino (Saul Rubinek), after the fleeing wealthy industrialist. Also after Hatcher is CIA agent Banner (Robin Gammell). Meanwhile the unemployed accountant Lewis Kinney (Richard Harris) is hired as a chauffeur/bodyguard to Hatcher’s sister, Lise Hatcher (Beverly D’Angelo), and his wheelchair-bound mother (KateReid).

The scheming Hatcher fakes his own death and frames the bodyguard for his murder. This infuriates Kinney, who joins the chase after Hatcher.

The problem with the pic is that the funny business is problematic and the characters are so unsympathetic they failed to draw me into the story.

The title refers to the last scene that takes place after a car chase and ends atop the Toronto CN tower. Stuntman Dar Robinson jumped off the Toronto tower in 1979, the highest stunt fall in motion pictures at 1,170 feet, and was paid a handsome $150,000 for the risky stunt.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”