IMDb > Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Two-Lane Blacktop
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Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Two-Lane Blacktop -- Trailer for Two-Lane Blacktop
Two-Lane Blacktop -- Story of two men drag racing across the USA in a primer grey 55 chevy. Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver.

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   6,882 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Rudy Wurlitzer (screenplay) and
Will Corry (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Two-Lane Blacktop on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 October 1972 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
You can never go fast enough...
Plot:
Story of two men drag racing across the USA in a primer grey 55 chevy. Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A poetic description of a world without possibilities See more (96 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Taylor ... The Driver

Warren Oates ... G.T.O

Laurie Bird ... The Girl

Dennis Wilson ... The Mechanic
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

Harry Dean Stanton ... 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
Alan Vint ... Man in Roadhouse
Illa Ginnaven ... Waitress in Roadhouse
George Mitchell ... Truck Driver at Accident
A.J. Solari ... Tennessee Hitchhiker
Katherine Squire ... Old Woman
Melissa Hellman ... Little Girl with Old Woman picked up by G.T.O.
Jay Wheatley ... Man #1 at Race Track

James Mitchum ... Man #2 at Race Track (as Jim Mitcham)
Kreag Caffey ... Boy with Motorcycle
Tom Witenbarger ... Pickup Truck Driver
Glen Rogers ... Soldier #1
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Directed by
Monte Hellman 
 
Writing credits
Rudy Wurlitzer (screenplay) (as Rudolph Wurlitzer) and
Will Corry (screenplay)

Will Corry (story)

Floyd Mutrux  uncredited

Produced by
Gary Kurtz .... associate producer
Michael Laughlin .... producer (as Michael S. Laughlin)
 
Original Music by
Billy James (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Jack Deerson (director of photography)
Gregory Sandor (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Monte Hellman 
 
Casting by
Fred Roos 
Jennifer Shull 
 
Costume Design by
Richard Bruno 
 
Production Management
Walter Coblenz .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ken Swor .... assistant director
 
Art Department
H. Alan Deglin .... custom auto design and construction
William Kincheloe .... custom auto design and construction
Richard Ruth .... custom auto design and construction
 
Sound Department
Charles T. Knight .... production sound (as Charles Knight)
Howard S. Wollman .... sound re-recordist
James M. Falkinburg .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Gregory Sandor .... photographic advisor
John Bailey .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Earl C. Williman .... lamp operator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Billy James .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Jaclyn Hellman .... dialogue coach
Bonnie Prendergast .... script supervisor
Marion Sampler .... title designer
Lee Wenner .... assistant to producer
Jay Wheatley .... technical advisor
Steven Henschel .... location manager (uncredited)
Beverly Walker .... publicist (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
102 min | Argentina:105 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Kris Kristofferson was the first choice for the role of "The Driver".See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
G.T.O.:[after being approached sexually by a male hitchhiker] I'm not into that!
Oklahoma hitchhiker:I just thought it might relax you while you drive.
G.T.O.:This is competition, man. I've got no time.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003)See more »
Soundtrack:
SatisfactionSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
114 out of 124 people found the following review useful.
A poetic description of a world without possibilities, 22 August 2005
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

Long out of circulation because of disputes over music rights, Two-Lane Blacktop, now available on DVD, is one of the most original and compelling American movies of the twentieth century. It is a road movie, a film about cars, and a search for meaning in American life that could easily be called "Zen and the Art of Drag Racing". Shot from the inside of a car, it is an authentic vision of what it is like to be driving across America at a specific historical moment. Promoted by Universal Studios in 1971 as an answer to Columbia's Easy Rider, the film was originally released to less than enthusiastic audiences but has since taken on the status of cult classic and it is richly deserved. Unlike Easy Rider, it is a film that simply observes and what it sees is pure Americana: its people, gas stations, diners, and drag strips. We feel the claustrophobia, the spaces, the speed, and the loneliness.

The film stars singers James Taylor (Fire and Rain) and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys as taciturn drag races who drive their souped-up 1955 Chevy across the country challenging locals to a drag race. The main characters are drifters. They come from nowhere and are headed east, toward a destination that is murky at best. They are people whose reality begins and ends with their machines. Everyone talks about how good life can be -- somewhere else -- in New York, Chicago, the beaches of Florida, and the coast of Mexico, somewhere up the road apiece. Warren Oates, a Monte Hellman regular, turns in a truly outstanding performance as the driver of a Pontiac GTO who challenges Taylor and Wilson to a cross-country race, the prize being the ownership of the cars. GTO is a talkative fellow who concocts tall tales about his background to impress every hitchhiker he picks up (one is a gay cowboy played by Harry Dean Stanton). He is a sad and perhaps self-destructive individual but he is human and you can reach out to him and feel his pathos.

First time actors Taylor and Wilson express little emotion and there is scant dialogue but they also seem right for their roles. Their total focus is on their car. Though the Chevy looks old and ugly, it is as powerful as any car on the road and the driver and the mechanic treat it like their own flesh and blood, constantly fine tuning to maintain its impeccable performance. They go from town to town, just trying to survive by racing. In the words of author John Banville, they "have no past, no foreseeable future, only the steady pulse of a changeless present". Along the way they pick up a cherubic young roadie (Laurie Bird) who is willing to go wherever the ride takes her. After each of the boys has sex with her in motel rooms and in the car, she becomes moody and resentful and fears that she is being used but has nowhere else to go. Though the main thrust of the plot is the race to Washington, DC, the focus seems to get lost along the way, and the film becomes more of a character study of the lack of human connection than about racing.

The film looks for the soul of America in the early 1970s and comes up empty. It was released in 1971 at a time when the hopes and dreams of the '60s counter culture had given way to the disillusion of Kent State and Altamonte, the bombing of Cambodia, and the media's cynical preemption of the Hippie movement.

The movie is about everything and nothing. Everyone is biding their time waiting for life to turn out rather than creating the possibility. Though they live for the moment there is no joy, only the gnawing reality of something missing. They are like many of us, skimming along on the surface of life, reminiscing about a goal that once seemed real but is now just out of reach. They look ahead to a blank future, while ignoring the life around them, what is in the present moment. Two-Lane Blacktop is an exceptionally beautiful film, a poetic description of a world without possibilities. It may also be the definitive statement of the anguish of the materialist paradigm that has begun to crumble and fall apart.

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