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Two-Lane Blacktop (Widescreen)

James Taylor , Warren Oates , Monte Hellman    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 130.29
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Two-Lane Blacktop (Widescreen) + Vanishing Point + California Kid, the
Price For All Three: CDN$ 153.35

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

James Taylor is The Driver, a car-obsessed racer with stringy hair and a concentration that precludes conversation. He travels the backroads of rural America with his buddy, The Mechanic (Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys), an equally obsessed lost soul at home only in the car or under the hood. They have no names, only designations, and no life outside of their gypsy existence, riding the unending highway in their souped-up '55 Chevy from race to race. After picking up a hitchhiking Girl (Laurie Bird), whose presence breaks the tunnel-vision focus of the two men, they challenge a middle-aged hotshot, the garrulous G.T.O. (Warren Oates) to a cross-country race. Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop is the most alienated evocation of modern America ever made, an almost abstract study in dislocation and obsession set against a vague landscape of roadside diners and rest stops. Taylor and Wilson deliver appropriately blank performances, only expressing emotion when The Girl sparks jealousy between them. Oates is a glib dynamo constructing a new persona in every scene, as if trying on characters to play as he ping-pongs between the coasts. "How fast does it go?" asks The Driver, admiring G.T.O.'s car. "Fast enough," he answers. The Driver snaps, "You can never go fast enough." These are characters on the road to nowhere who can't work up enough speed to escape themselves. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Road to Nowhere Oct. 5 2002
Format:DVD
The 1971 film "Two-Lane Blacktop" is arguably the best of the late 60s, early 70s existential road film genre (including "Easy Rider," "Vanishing Point" and "Electra Glide in Blue"). Director Monte Hellman's stark, at times unyeilding examination of American alienation is brilliant simply because of its refusal to pander to an audience undoubtedly looking for the commercial release of an exciting car chase.
There is a race in "Two-Lane Blacktop," though it seems to end almost before it begins. There are extraordinary muscle cars as well, including a souped up '55 Chevy contrasted with a new Pontiac GTO. But Two-Lane Blacktop is a character study, even though the characters are not people we would particularly like to know.
The three main characters, haunted lost souls void of identity and emotion, are played by James Taylor, Dennis Wilson and Warren Oates. Taylor and Wilson silently cruise the backroads of America looking for the next race in their 55' Chevy. They eventually meet Oates, a chattering, nervous man involved in some kind of middle-age crisis while picking up hitchikers in his GTO. These men decide to race cross country, but eventually lose interest.
Throw into this uneasy mix a young hitchiker played by Laurie Bird. She jumps back and forth between these three men, holding off their awkward advances, eventually realizing their emotionless lives are headed down an endless highway without destination.
"Two-Lane Blacktop" is a morose study of men perpetually lost on the backroads of a nameless American landscape. They are hovering ghosts, void of identity, forever searching for a meaning which cannot be found. There are no easy truths or answers in Hellman's complex odyssey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Literature on film! May 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Two-Lane Blacktop is literature on film! At first viewing, it may seem stylistic but plotless, as the casual observer without proper frame of reference will miss some subtle subplots.
The first subplot is the contrast of the genuine versus the wannabe, as revealed in the cars and their owners. There has always been a street-race rivalry between the the home-built hotrod and the checkbook-aquired factory musclecar (fellow gearheads will nod knowingly). This contrast extends to The Driver, who is earthy and real, and GTO, who is always playing a role. At first, GTO tries to stand toe-to-toe with The Driver, but he is eventually subjugated by the horsepower of the '55 and the mechanical know-how of Driver and Mechanic.
The second and more interesting subplot is the tension within The Driver, who feels more comfortable with machines than with people (perhaps machines are easier to control). Believe me, this type of personality exists - confirm with any gearhead or IT professional. His machine zen is interrupted by the hitchhiker, to whom he opens himself up (barely). The hicthhiker eventually leaves, and at the end of the movie he slides shut the window of the '55 Chevy, symbolically shutting out human emotion/interaction and returning to his mechanical world.
Watch this movie looking for these subplots, and you may have a whole new viewing experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for Godot....with Burning Rubber July 20 2001
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Great exploration of American angst....and American existentialist non-answers. Rudy Wurlitzer's script is a gem. Here's a clue for you Beach Boys fans out there. It ain't supposed to be fun fun fun 'til her daddy takes the T-Bird away. The acting is supposed to be "flat," emotionless (with the exception of Warren Oates' role as "GTO" and Laurie Bird's role as "The Girl"). The characters are supposed to be from nowhere and going nowhere. They are characters who have stripped away all "extraneous" elements from their lives. Hellman, given big-studio backing for the first and ultimately only time in his career thus far, was an exceeding brave man to make this film. Read some Camus and some Sartre and some Beckett, then talk to some serious gearheads for a while, then take a long road trip on some two-lane highways in my home turf, the American Southwest. Then watch this movie. You'll appreciate just what Hellman and company accomplished. By the way, James Taylor is the only leading actor in the film still living, and he made it while he was in the throes of a serious battle with heroin. Who would have thought he would have been the last left standing?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for gearheads... May 8 2001
Format:DVD
A good friend of mine is an insanely obsessed car-freak. One day he turned on his TV and popped a DVD into the player, and we watched Two Lane Blacktop. I'm not into cars at all, but I was transfixed by this movie. When it was all over, I didn't find it pretentious or confusing or boring in the slightest. I saw it as a very simple yet compelling story; Two men live for only one thing: racing their car, which has been stripped down to its barest essentials in order to give it maximum speed. Things like heaters and rear seats have been removed... steel has been replaced with fiberglass. And as they have done with their car, they have stripped away all "extraneous" elements from their lives, and from their very selves. They have no need for conversation or music, or for love or anger or any other emotion for that matter. They're cold and dehumanized. As they make their way across the landscape, they meet an older man who has lost his life and identity, and is desperately searching for new ones. Most importantly, they are joined by a girl who wants only one thing: human contact. As I saw it, the central point of the story is how she affects the men, one of them more than the others. I believe this explains the notoriously "ambiguous" ending. It isn't a perfect film by any means. Laurie Bird's neophyte status is painfully obvious in some of her scenes. At times this film may be too subtle and understated for its own good. It seems that some of the most important and basic plot elements are left to the viewer to infer. Then again, this may again be part of the "stripped down" theme that is so prevalent throughout. Whatever the case, it's an incredibly unique and very haunting film. I can certainly understand that it isn't for everyone. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Review for Two-Lane Blacktop
The DVD arrived on Dec. 31. It was a Christmas gift for our son who had seen it years ago and wanted a copy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Linda A. Gerow
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
I bought this as a gift for my husband. It was exactly as it was described on the web site.
Published 20 months ago by thedukeboys
4.0 out of 5 stars two lane blacktop revisited
this re make is done very well, the picture quality is very good. the sound is ,understandably not much better than the original, as it was shot quickly, and
the lead actors... Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2009 by Eric the read
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like this? Congratulations!
Two-Lane Blacktop is widely worshipped as one of the best pop-art flicks of the early 1970's Golden Age of American Cinema. Read more
Published on May 21 2004 by Kris Cheppaikode
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Lane Dead End
I watched the movie after purchasing it for a freind who is a big James Taylor music fan. I was disapointed in the character writing, as J.T. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2004 by Jason C. Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars DENNIS WILSON IN HIS ONE AND ONLY
THE REASON I GOT THIS MOVIE WAS BECAUSE OF DENNIS IT DID NOT HAVE A BIG BUGET BUT IT HAD FAST CARS AND THE ACTING WAS COOL PLUS THEY HAD A DOORS SONG IN IT SO YOU CANT GO WRONG... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by Wes B. Blakely
1.0 out of 5 stars i love JT, but this movie sucks
James Taylor is my favorite artist of all time. I have all his albums and love every song on every one. But, there is a reason he is not a successful actor. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2004 by Jared Correia
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential road movie!!! A seventies classic!!!
This classic road movie finally gets the the royal treatment with this DVD!!!Where else can you find James Taylor,Dennis Wilson and Warren Oates in the same movie? Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003 by Jason P. Pumphrey
1.0 out of 5 stars All cars and no dialogue make these jacks dull boys
After the opening legal boilerplate flashed by, I sat in vain waiting for the movie to start. What I got was adolescent boys of all ages revving their engines and conversing at a... Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by paul_howard
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow, But Captivating
I finally saw this last night after having heard so much about it. Yes, "Two-Lane Blacktop" is a slow-moving film, but its essence is very soothing. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2003 by Gina M.
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