Synopsis by Lucia Bozzola
A '55 Chevy takes on a '70 GTO in a race across the Southwest in Monte Hellman's cult favorite. The Driver (James Taylor) and the Mechanic (Dennis Wilson) phlegmatically slouch from race to race, pitting their gray Chevy against any and all gearheads in order to make money for gas and food. They and the tag-along Girl (Laurie Bird) meet their match in "Oh Maybelline" fan GTO (Warren Oates), and they all set off on a cross-country race to Washington D.C., with the winner getting the loser's car. But it isn't the end that really counts; it is the process of getting there, as the Girl's fickleness forces the Driver to decide what matters more: endless races or her. Shot on location from a spare script by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry, Two-Lane Blacktop was trumpeted as the "film of the year" in Esquire magazine before its release. It bombed, and disputes over music rights kept it from home video until 1999, but repertory and TV screenings have gained it an avid following for its automotive detail, flashes of authentic idiosyncrasy, and artfully abstract examination of the urge to forge ahead, whether or not there is anywhere to go.
car, desert, racer, racing, birds, cross-country, driver, film, head [body part], news