7.3/10
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110 user 112 critic

Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

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2:28 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Monte Hellman

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Taylor ... The Driver
Warren Oates ... G.T.O
Laurie Bird ... The Girl
Dennis Wilson ... The Mechanic
David Drake David Drake ... Needles Station Attendant
Richard Ruth Richard Ruth ... Needles Station Mechanic
Rudy Wurlitzer Rudy Wurlitzer ... Hot Rod Driver (as Rudolph Wurlitzer)
Jaclyn Hellman Jaclyn Hellman ... Driver's Girl
Bill Keller Bill Keller ... Texas Hitchhiker
Harry Dean Stanton ... Oklahoma Hitchhiker (as H.D. Stanton)
Don Samuels Don Samuels ... Texas Policeman #1
Charles Moore Charles Moore ... Texas Policeman #2
Tom Green Tom Green ... Boswell Attendant
W.H. Harrison W.H. Harrison ... Parts Store Owner
Alan Vint ... Man in Roadhouse
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Storyline

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can never go fast enough...

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1972 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Fortare än döden See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ending to this film came to Monte Hellman in a dream. See more »

Goofs

At the garage where the race is being set up, watch the crank of the hand mangle as it mysteriously changes its position throughout the clips. See more »

Quotes

G.T.O.: Well, here we are on the road.
The Driver: Yup, that's where we are all right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film ends with the last frames of the film itself being burned. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Easy Motors: Heavy Chevy (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

John Henry
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Merle Travis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Example of what makes a movie great...
28 July 1999 | by wytsharkSee all my reviews

Problems with music rights have kept this film from being seen much since its release, which is a real shame. Recently, the Roan Group released a laserdisc version (not sure if there is a VHS or DVD version), which I rented on a total whim. It turned out to be one of those rare treasures that not only lives up to its hype--it exceeds it. Anyone who wants to know why so many of today's films are sub-par would do themselves a favor by exploring this title. The problem with movies today is that everything is so formulaic, characters (if any are present) are forced to react in completely illogical ways just so the plot can hit prefabricated beats. "Two Lane Blacktop" follows the characters and lets the plot flow from the dynamics between them. Add to that some really unique characters and what you end up with is a movie that's always coming at you from the most unexpected angles, and not one second of it feels false or forced. The writing, directing and acting are dead-on, with Warren Oates a stand-out (his performance should be studied by anyone who wants to act), and James Taylor surprisingly intense and charismatic. It should be noted that this is not an action movie, so don't go into it looking for suspense or great racing scenes. Rather, you should sit back and let this movie work its almost invisible magic on you. And don't be surprised if you're still thinking about it days later.


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