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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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. See more »
When the G.T.O pulls into the gas station it's extremely shiny and clean considering it's just driven across 3 States! See more »
In my view this is the best road movie ever made. Carping about the slow pace or minimal dialogue is like complaining Scorsese's movies are too violent or the Marx Brothers too zany.
Like the car the two friends drive, this is an exercise in stripping things down to their essentials in search of authenticity. Like a Ramones song or an Edward Hopper painting there is absolutely nothing here that doesn't need to be.
Warren Oates' character on the other hand is a study in inauthenticity. After visiting the US in the 80's and 90's with its malls and fast food chains (and indeed looking at the kind of product Hollywood churns out these days) it's clear that his kind won the race in the end.
I've seen this on TV and in art cinemas a couple of times and I'm glad to hear I can now get the DVD. A true American classic.
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