A man wanders out of the desert after a four year absence. His brother finds him, and together they return to L.A. to reunite the man with his young son. Soon after, he and the boy set out ... See full summary »
Harry Dean Stanton,
Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against ... See full summary »
Henry G. Sanders,
Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Mille is a... See full summary »
Paul Javal is a writer who is hired to make a script for a new movie about Ulysses more commercial, which is to be directed by Fritz Lang and produced by Jeremy Prokosch. But because he let... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Even though "Easy Rider" came earlier and was much more successful, "Two Lane Blacktop" is a far superior film
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)
17 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?