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Two-Lane Blacktop

Film about Dennis Wilson

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Released on July 7, 1971

Run time: 102 min

Directed by Monte Hellman

Written by Will Corry, Rudy Wurlitzer (as Rudolph Wurlitzer) and Floyd Mutrux (uncredited)

Editions

  • Two-Lane Blacktop

    • March 10, 2015
    • Criterion Collection
    • US
    • DVD
  • Two-Lane Blacktop

    • January 8, 2013
    • Criterion Collection
    • US
    • Blu-ray
    Drag racing east from L.A. in a souped-up ’55 Chevy are the wayward Driver and Mechanic (singer/songwriter James Taylor and the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, in their only acting roles), accompanied by a tagalong Girl (Cockfighter’s Laurie Bird). Along the way, they meet Warren Oates’s Pontiac GTO–driving wanderer and challenge him to a cross-country race—the prize: their cars’ pink slips. But no summary can do justice to the existential punch of Two-Lane Blacktop. With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman (The Shooting) is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made.