109 user 112 critic

Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

2:28 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.



(screenplay) (as Rudolph Wurlitzer), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Thriller

Two hot rod racers take a challenge to race across the nation for pink slips not knowing that their competitor is a serial killer.

Stars: James Taylor, George Ezra, Chris Robertson
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.

Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Stars: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger
Cockfighter (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Southern action drama film about cockfighting.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: Warren Oates, Richard B. Shull, Harry Dean Stanton
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber
The Shooting (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mysterious woman persuades two cowboys to help her in a revenge scheme.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: Millie Perkins, Jack Nicholson, Will Hutchins
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers is mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best, the only thing that is holding them back is money to build the best vehicle... See full summary »

Director: John Hough
Stars: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke
Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Directors: Gabriel Cowan, John Suits
Stars: Monte Hellman, Melissa Hellman, Lathan McKay
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This film follows an antisocial working-class husband and father struggling to find work in the Midwest. As the film progresses, it seems that he has little actual interest in supporting ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Jost
Stars: Tom Blair, Wayne Crouse, Jessica St. John
The Driver (1978)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenacious detective.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three cowboys, mistaken for members of an outlaw gang, are relentlessly pursued by a posse.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Cameron Mitchell, Millie Perkins
Walkabout (1971)
Certificate: GP Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg


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


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


You can never go fast enough...




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 October 1972 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Estrada Não Tem Fim  »


Box Office


$850,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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 »


G.T.O.: If I'm not grounded pretty soon, I'm gonna go into orbit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The GTO ... 1970 Pontiac See more »


Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »


Taylor Made (Instrumental)
Music by Hal Mooney
[very brief opening cue]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

How Good Is This Film?
25 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is either the best film I've ever seen, or just an interesting exercise in film-making that is ultimately of little value. The problem is that I can't decide which! No film has ever given me as much trouble in terms of my deciding where to place it in my personal Top 250 list. I mean, I know it's difficult to compare the relative merits of movies from different genres (e.g. "Schindler's List" vs "Monty Python And The Holy Grail"), but this movie is so unlike almost any others that I still don't know what to make of it.

I tried listening to the DVD commentary for some help, but Monte Hellman and Gary Kurtz had obviously pre-decided that they wouldn't talk about any aspect of the "meaning" or intent of the movie, preferring to concentrate on technical aspects such as pre-production, casting, locations, logistics, acting, lighting, sound, camera-work etc. I kind of respect them for this - leaving Joe Public to use his/her own brain in order to decide what the movie is all about.

One of the people in a featurette on the DVD said that "people haven't begun to realise how good Two-Lane Blacktop is" and I think that's right - the more I think about it, the better this film becomes in my estimation.

My take on the movie is that it's basically a contrast of the two extremes of human behaviour, as characterised by the brash, noisy "GTO" played by Warren Oates and the quiet, understated-to-the-point-of-lifelessness "Driver" and "Mechanic" - their personalities perfectly mirrored in their choice of cars. Most people's personalities lie somewhere in between, but by juxtaposing the extremes it forces one to think about one's place in that spectrum. "The Girl" is mainly a plot device to create a little bit of dramatic tension, as blokes left to themselves tend to go with the status quo. But we only want a little bit of drama, because that's not really the point, and too much drama would distract from the underlying theme.

I really love the "space" in this movie: the long takes, the long silences, the wide-open scenery, the fact that nobody SAYS anything (Warren Oates talks a lot, but never SAYS much). In modern life in general, I think people talk too much - try sitting still and shutting up for 103 minutes while watching this movie.

Not that I suppose anyone is interested, but I eventually rated this at about #70 in my Top 250, but next time I watch it I may move it up to #1 or drop it out of the 250 entirely...

37 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 109 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page