Two Texas border guards find a jeep buried for 20 years in the desert, with a skeleton, a scoped rifle, and a box with $800,000 in cash. They decide to keep the money, but quietly check up on the info they find. Soon the Feds are running all over the place, and it looks like jeep maybe linked to the JFK assassination. But the Feds are trying to cover it up, and eliminate anyone involved with the jeep.
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.
About the Story
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.
Directed by: William Tannen
Starring: Kris Kristofferson, Treat Williams, Rip Torn, Jean Smart, Kevin Conway, Miguel Ferrer, Ana Auther, Roberts Blossom
Screenplay by: Dennis Shryack
Production Design by: Paul Greimann
Cinematography by: Peter Moss
Film Editing by: David Garfield
Set Decoration by: Sam J. Jones
Music by: Tangerine Dream
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures
Release Date: July 26, 1984