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Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) Poster

Trivia

A drummer for the rock band The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson gave his only acting performance in this film.
According to the director's commentary on the first DVD release, the reason the movie took so long to release on DVD was Jim Morrison. Two Lane Blacktop's sound track has scenes in the movie where Doors music is playing in the background. Monte Hellman and the producers had trouble initially securing permission from Morrison's estate to release the film with its original content of Doors music on to the medium of DVD. For obvious reasons, such DVD permission was not part of the original agreement with the Doors in 1972. Eventually, the studio got permission to use the Doors music again and the DVD was released.
As of the 2007 Criterion DVD release, James Taylor had never seen the film. He says he would now like to see it.
Three 1955 Chevrolets were used as the street racer in the film; both vehicles were built by Richard Ruth. One of the cars used in the film, with the twin carburetors, was driven by Harrison Ford in American Graffiti (1973), and the car that was seen at the gas station in the film - the 210 coupe, aka the #2 vehicle - was recently located in Canada, intact and untouched. The #3 car had a full rollcage installed and was to be used in a rollover scene that was not filmed. It was later used in the rollover scene in "American Graffiti".
This is the only time that James Taylor ever acted in a movie, apart from cameos as himself (as in "Funny People"). He is the only one of the main actors in the film still alive today (2009).
Filmed between August and October of 1970, during an eight-week time frame.
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This would be Laurie Bird's (as the girl/hitchhiker) film debut. She would only star in two more films including Cockfighter (1974) and Annie Hall (1977) before taking her own life in New York in 1979.
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Floyd Mutrux, wrote much of the screenplay, but lost credit in a Writers Guild arbitration hearing due to the fact he was not a member of the Guild. Director Monte Hellman appeared in Mutrux's film The Christian Licorice Store (1971) the same year this film was made.
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Bruce Dern declined the role of "The Driver", later accepted by James Taylor.
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Kris Kristofferson was the first choice for the role of "The Driver".
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Dennis Wilson's watch used to time the race is a Desotos chronograph.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Rob Zombie wrote a song about the film called Two Lane blacktop from his Past, Present & Future compilation album.
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Steve McQueen started the annual Lake Elsinore Gran Prix. In the Mississippi Queen video with James Taylor and Dennis Wilson there is a number of footage cuts shot in Lake Elsinore during one of those anual Gran Prix's. The Mississippi Queen video has McQueen driving the Mustang through San Francisco in Bullitt and that was the "tie in" for the footage in Lake Elsinore. Because Steve is touted for starting the Lake Elsinore Gran Prix, Lake Elsinore has been known to generate many of the worlds top motocross riders for decades since then and, still does to this day. Steve is also of course the main character in another infamous movie in which he escapes from a German prison camp on a motorcycle. The footage shots a in Lake Elsinore include a turn off of Gragam onto Main st in Lake Elsinore....and there are others.
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