7.3/10
9,245
108 user 111 critic

Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

A story of two men drag-racing across the U.S. in a primer grey '55 Chevy. Dennis Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Rudolph Wurlitzer), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
David Drake ...
Needles Station Attendant
Richard Ruth ...
Needles Station Mechanic
Rudy Wurlitzer ...
Hot Rod Driver (as Rudolph Wurlitzer)
Jaclyn Hellman ...
Driver's Girl
Bill Keller ...
Texas Hitchhiker
...
Oklahoma Hitchhiker (as H.D. Stanton)
Don Samuels ...
Texas Policeman #1
Charles Moore ...
Texas Policeman #2
Tom Green ...
Boswell Attendant
W.H. Harrison ...
Parts Store Owner
...
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Storyline

The Driver and The Mechanic are two car freaks driving a 1955 Chevy throughout the southwestern U.S. looking for other cars to race. They are totally dedicated to The Car and converse with each other only when necessary. At a gas station, The Driver and The Mechanic, along with a girl who has ingratiated herself into their world, meet G.T.O., a middle-aged man who fabricates stories about his exploits. It is decided to have a race to Washington, D.C., where the winner will get the loser's car. Along the way, the race and the highway metaphorically depict the lives of these contestants as they struggle to their destination. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You can never go fast enough...

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 October 1972 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Estrada Não Tem Fim  »

Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kris Kristofferson was the first choice for the role of "The Driver". See more »

Goofs

At the garage where the race is being set up, watch the crank of the hand mangle as it mysteriously changes its position throughout the clips. See more »

Quotes

G.T.O.: If I wanted to bother, I could suck you right up my tail pipe.
The Driver: Sure you could.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Car ... 1955 Chevrolet See more »

Connections

References The Flintstones (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Me and Bobby McGee
Written by Fred Foster and Kris Kristofferson
Performed by Kris Kristofferson
Courtesy of Monument Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Even though "Easy Rider" came earlier and was much more successful, "Two Lane Blacktop" is a far superior film
14 December 2006 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

I am now convinced Monte Hellman is one of America's most unjustly overlooked filmmakers. "Cockfighter" was good (easially the best hicksploitation film ever made), "The Shooting" was great, and "Two Lane Blacktop" is simply put a masterpiece. Even though "Easy Rider" came earlier and was much more successful, "Two Lane Blacktop" is a far superior film. The films minimalist style is engrossing throughout, and despite the slow pacing your interest never waivers. Its also the greatest road movie ever made because its thematically interesting unlike many other car films. To call this a car film is akin to calling "2001" a sci-fi film or "The Seven Samurai" an action film.

What makes it work so well? For one, the stark minimalism of it all. Hellman proves you don't need flashy effects or a big budget to make a great motion picture (something which Hollywood's school of music video directors hasn't caught on to). Everything is very low key, especially the performances of James Taylor, Laurie Bird, and Dennis Wilson. It perfectly captures the lack of meaning to their lives. Unlike many other counter culture heroes, they seem to be rebelling against nothing except life itself. Secondly, Warren Oates makes the film. Oates is one of the most tragically underrated actors of all time, and this is next to only "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" as his best film. In both, he manages to take a desperate and pathetic man and make him all too human. Its a shame that this is so hard to find as its one of the best films of the decade. (10/10)


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