Home > Cinema Rediscovered/ 50th Anniversary Celebration: Two-Lane Blacktop

Cinema Rediscovered/ 50th Anniversary Celebration: Two-Lane Blacktop

With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and subtle look at American male obsession, this breakout feature from maverick director Monte Hellman (who recently passed away) is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema. Drag racing east from Los Angeles 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 the Girl (Laurie Bird). Along the way, they come across Warren Oates, old timer “G.T.O” (named after the car he drives) who challenges the trio to a cross-country race. The prize: their cars’ “pink slips”.

Scripted by legendary novelist Rudy Wurlitzer, this open road epic remains a timeless, existential portrait of lives in transit and of a country questioning its identity.

Presented as part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project with support from BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery.