Two-lane Blacktop

Two-lane Blacktop

DVD - 2007
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A car-obsessed Driver and Mechanic aimlessly head East from L.A. in a souped-up 1955 Chevy, drag racing for money and thrills. Drifting across the Southwest, they keep being buzzed by a Pontiac GTO. They are joined by The Girl after she climbs into their car while the two are eating in a diner. Later at a gas station, the three meet "GTO" and challenge him to a cross-country race to Washington, D.C. for "pink slips," where the winner will get the loser's car. Along the way, however, they keep stopping to help each other, and winning seems far from their thoughts. The road is itself a place to live, is home, not just a way to move.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, [2007]
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (103 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 leaflet
Edition: DVD edition
Credits: Director of photography, Jack Deerson ; film editor, Monte Hellman ; custom auto design & construction, Richard Ruth, William Kincheloe, H. Alan Deglin ; story by Will Corry.
Performers: James Taylor (The Driver), Warren Oates (G.T.O.), Laurie Bird (The Girl), and Dennis Wilson (The Mechanic) ; with H.D. Stanton, Alan Vint, Bill Keller, Katherine Squire, George Mitchell, Kreag Caffey, A.J. Solari, Rudolph Wurlitzer, Jaclyn Hellman.
Language Note: In English with optional English subtitles
ISBN: 9781604659597
UPC: 715515137614
Call Number: DVD T


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Apr 11, 2019

The four main characters in this movie do NOT behave "normally" with respect to the given story line and plot. If you are going to race....than RACE! If a girl shows up in your back seat after your lunch break, you should inquire something like "Hey who are you?" or "Excuse me miss, I think you are in the wrong car." But no, they just take off like this kind of thing happens all the time. The movie is pointless! And I LOVE James Taylor and Dennis musicians. With a better script, I might have liked them as actors too. If you want to see a good RACE movie with Warren Oats, check out "Race With the Devil".

Aug 14, 2017

Watch this movie twice, then you may agree that "Two Lane Blacktop" is one of the greatest car movies ever. The first viewing you will be wondering why the director used non-actors (other than Warren Oates) and why there are so many minutes without words. The second time around you will understand that those things would have just gotten in the way of the meditations of the film. This is a look at the lure of the open road and its different effects on both men and women. Very satisfying. And those satisfactions are permanent.

Aug 13, 2017

An existential road movie about underground car racing- the film lays bare the ennui that lies underneath the myth of America.

Jun 13, 2017

An extremely boring and ultimately pointless film (they never get to Washington). Some of the imagery is simple and touching; the characters are smelly morlochs, a pathological liar, and a weird slut. I cannot fathom why the Criterion Collection included this.

If you're like me, someone who loves Hollywood auteur films of the early 1970s and somehow never managed to see Monte Hellman's masterpiece, TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, you have got to check out this two-disk Criterion Collection special edition. For starters, the performances are stunning. Folk/pop singer James Taylor, Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, newcomer Laurie Bird and journeyman Warren Oats are all amazing. This is a very quiet and understated film. But there's one scene towards the end of the movie that will hit you between the eyes. It all becomes clear in a single instant, a sudden moment of incandescence, what a sham the male ego is. No wonder leadership of both Universal Studios and the Soviet Union were united in disgust with this picture. The male ego, and the abject female onto whom it projects its fantasy, is what makes society, whether capitalist or communist, motor along. That's why Laurie Bird's character, the hitchhiking Hippie chick, is so essential. (It's a shame she only made three movies being committing suicide in 1979.) Be sure to watch the second disk of interviews and extras. Monte Hellman's interview of James Taylor is incredible. Never a big James Taylor fan, I have a lot more respect for him now.

I tried viewing this film with my early 70's hippie filter on but it still didn't help. Both Taylor and Wilson don't seem to care about their roles. They certainly don't do much 'acting.' C'mon guys, you gotta TRY. Oates is certainly the best part of the picture.

I have no idea why this film is considered important, even as a nostalgia piece or a road movie.

rufus_red4 Sep 16, 2012

Very good, a seminal early '70's auteur film filled with beautiful iconic Americana images and 4 restrained performances. The impressive James Taylor, handsome and charming Dennis Wilson, scruffy meets pretty hippy chick Laurie Bird, and finally, the only real thespian of the bunch, Warren Oates who grounds the other 3 and makes it all work. Harry Dean Stanton has a cameo and to the filmmaker's credit, there's blessedly no homophobia in his scene, very rare for a film of this era. The script is minimal and the action sometimes slows down but there's no denying this film's importance, stick with it and you'll be rewarded.

Jun 03, 2012

A lost classic. A minimalistic film, with no beginning and no end. Three young drifters, and one middle-aged I don't know what, who are basically tumbleweeds, rolling (and roaring) around old Route 66 in 1971. The times were simpler, freer. GORGEOUS muscle cars: the '55 Chevy, and (Holy Mother of God--) BRAND SPANKING NEW G.T.O.s, El Caminos, Barracudas, Roadrunners, Chargers, Challengers, 'Vettes, Chevelles, Cobras, Olds 442s... (somebody stop me - I'm drooling!). Sweet Baby James' only film, and he did a terrific job. The remaining three lead actors have all passed on: troubled Beach Boy Dennis Wilson; all purpose '70s character actor and wildman Warren Oates; and Laurie Bird, Art Garfunkel's girlfriend who tragically committed suicide in '79. This was a difficult film for director Monte Hellman to put out, as the studios weren't interested. I'm grateful Universal gave in. A cool flick. FIVE STARS.

rocknrollphilip Jan 20, 2012

GREAT direction! I really dig this flick and have watched it many times. Go, Brother Dennis!


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Jun 03, 2012

The Girl: "You guys aren't like, the Zodiac killers or anything, right?" The Mechanic: "Nope. Just passin' through."

Jun 03, 2012

The Girl: "Excuse me, sir. I'm trying to catch the bus back to San Francisco. Can you help me out?" Man: "You mean money?" The Girl: "Can you spare any change? ...I'm trying to catch the bus back to San Francisco." (The man mumbles to his wife) Wife: "Can you wait 'til Monday?"

Jun 03, 2012

The Driver (looking at a '32 Ford hot rod at a burger joint): "Clean machine." Hot rod driver: "It's clean enough." The Driver: "Not bad, for homegrown." Hot rod driver: "It's a little bit more than that, sonny." The Driver (sarcastically): "Say, you must have somethin' real special here. Gee mister, I'll bet it's pretty quick." Hot rod driver: "You wanna find out?" The Driver: "Well, ordinarily I'd jump at the, uh, opportunity. But the thing is, I'm just not in the habit of seeing the Chevy work against a two-bit piece of junk." Hot rod driver: "Let's make it fifty." The Driver: "Make it three yards, motherf*cker, and we'll have an automobile race."

Jun 03, 2012

G.T.O. (driving, talking to The Girl, who's sleeping in the passenger's seat): "When we get the Cobra, we're gonna go to Florida. And we're gonna lie around the beach and we're just gonna get healthy. Let all the scars heal... Maybe we'll run over to Arizona... nice and warm, and... the roads are straight... And we'll build a house... Yeah, we'll build a house... 'Cause if I'm not grounded pretty soon... I'm gonna go into orbit..."


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