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Two-Lane Blacktop (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1971)

James Taylor , Dennis Wilson , Monte Hellman  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

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Two-Lane Blacktop (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Vanishing Point [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, Laurie Bird
  • Directors: Monte Hellman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2013
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009RWRIMU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,164 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Monte Hellman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by Hellman and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Two audio commentaries: one by Hellman and filmmaker Allison Anders and one by screenwriter Rudolph Wurlitzer and author David N. Meyer
  • Interviews with Hellman, actor James Taylor, musician Kris Kristofferson, producer Michael Laughlin, and production manager Walter Coblenz
  • Screen test outtakes
  • Performance and Image, a look at the restoration of a ’55 Chevy used in the movie and the film’s locations today
  • Color Me Gone, photos and publicity from Two-Lane Blacktop
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones; appreciations by director Richard Linklater and musician Tom Waits; and a reprint of the 1970 Rolling Stone article “On Route 66, Filming Two-Lane Blacktop,” by Michael Goodwin

  • Editorial Reviews

    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.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    189 of 195 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars On the Road to Nowhere October 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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    80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Two Lane Black Top February 4, 2000
    By Fred
    Format:DVD
    Two Lane Blacktop is one of those movies that you hear about long before you see it. It seems that while every car guy I have ever run across has heard of Two Lane Blacktop, few have ever seen it. Like Vanishing Point, it examines on some level the disillusionment that came at the close of the 1960's. It is a movie about outsiders; those that choose to be and those that desperately do not wish to be. The one thread that ties them together is the road.
    For a true gearhead, Two Lane Blacktop is a joy. To see all of the legendary sixties muscle cars in their natural environment.....it calls to mind a tradition of (illegal) street racing that still exists today, for better or worse. Anyone who has seen it or done it will instantly be pulled into the movie. Of course, the quintessential gray primer 55 Chevy, an unbeatable home-built street warrior, is the true hero of the film.
    You don't see this movie for the dialogue and there isn't a lot of it. Some of the gearhead lingo is kind of lame, like where the gas station attendant asks the Driver (James Taylor) if the 55 Chevy has a "Chevy block." No duh. Don't worry about it. That isn't why you are watching it.
    This movie is a time machine. As a 38 year old, I vividly remember those days and those cars, but through the eyes of an eight year old with Hot Wheels cars and a Dad that drove four door sedans (still does). I always wanted (and now have) fast cars. Seeing this movie for the first time 20 years ago poured even more fuel on the flame. Getting the opportunity to see it has always been an elusive pleasure, because it has been broadcast so rarely, and then often edited. This past Christmas, my girlfriend got me a copy in the collector's tin.
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    65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars ALONG THE WINDING ROAD October 16, 2000
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    When I decided to purchase this DVD, I was just attracted by the name of the director of TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, Monte Hellman, who directed two excellent westerns in the sixties. I didn't know at all this movie and expected the worse. God ! How was I wrong ! TWO-LANE BLACKTOP is a divine surprise for those who, like me, long for titles of the quality of the american movies of the 70's.
    Two pop stars of that period, James Taylor and Dennis Wilson (Brian's brother), as the driver and the mechanic, race against Warren Oates in a journey through the heart of America. While Taylor and Wilson hardly speak, Warren Oates has a convulsive need to talk to the numerous hitch-hikers he accepts to take for a ride in his GTO.
    TWO-LANE BLACKTOP is a road movie, in the tradition of EASY RIDER and THE VANISHING POINT, but the characters don't have to prove anything, they don't even care if they make it to their final destination, Washington D.C. They cannot either be considered as rebels because they don't have an ideal to defend or an authority to face. They are tragic figures without any ideals.
    The DVD presented by Anchor BAY is sumptuous with top-notch images and sound ( vraoum, vraoum...). A trailer, a commentary and a very informative featurette about Monte Hellman directed by George Hickenlooper.
    A DVD for the road.
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    34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Existential Road Trip December 21, 2000
    Format:DVD
    Less dated than Easy Rider, this early 70's time capsule is an existential masterpiece. What the hell does that mean? It means the film is full of space. It's about absolute nothing, or everything, or somewhere in between. It's a poem that doesn't deliver what an audience expects but is utterly faithful to it's idea. It doesn't have an emotional pay-off, but instead finds a stylish way to cinematically burn rubber and fade away. It's characters are called Driver, Mechanic, GTO and Girl. Its stars are James Taylor (yeah the pop singer), Dennis Wilson (yeah the late Beach Boy), Warren Oates (in perhaps his finest performances) and Laura Bird (most won't know her, she's good).
    Driver and Mechanic are the original slackers. They love racing, and hustling people to keep racing and their supercharged '55 Chevy. They are not hippies, but car junkies. The meet a loud mouth middle aged guy driving a newer sportier GTO who wants to race them for pink slips. Eventually they agree to what amounts to a gentlemen's type race from New Mexico to the East Coast. There's not a lot of suspense to the race, and the film is about. . . well whatever you want it to be about. GTO pretends to be someone else everytime he picks up a new hitch-hiker. He's amusing himself with his creative imagination and re-inventing himself to escape the middle age blues. Eventually there's a little bit of a competition over a young female hitchhiker.
    The film was filmed on location as cast and crew drove across the country. The bare-bones script is by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Curry.
    The film becomes more and more abstract as it moves along. The story matters less and less. A circle eventually forms and we realize we've been riding along on a very unique, one of a kind film.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Two-Lane Blacktop
    I liked this movie as a kid and like it as an adult. This was my fast and furious when I was eighteen, saw it at the theater. Read more
    Published 13 hours ago by Alaskan Al
    5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
    I think this is a must for the car person in everybody.The product & delivery service meet expectations.I appreciate the Integrity of listing.
    Published 10 days ago by Chris George
    5.0 out of 5 stars classic car movie
    great classic car movie with the exact same 55 bel air used in american graffiti driven by harrison ford. before it got wrecked obviously
    Published 15 days ago by the450r
    5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome!!!!
    This movie is awsome!! The best car movie ever..My huband and I have waited so long for this movie, now we own it. :-)
    Published 20 days ago by Liz Laveck
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great old school drag racing movie
    Considered a Cult Classic in the drag racing community. Acting is so-so but the entrainment value is very good. A good movie for all the old school racing fans.
    Published 1 month ago by Jack Greer
    5.0 out of 5 stars How street racing really got going!
    James Taylor could and did drive street rods in his day. The most amazing thing though was, he could race without playing guitar, piano, or even singing a song. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Bruce Grafford
    5.0 out of 5 stars A cult classic it is
    How it has such a following is mystery, but had to own it and watch the drag strip scenes. Warren Oates and "The Judge" are excellent !
    Published 1 month ago by Tim
    4.0 out of 5 stars The car is the star
    Buy it for the car. The car is the star. Boring movie. I'd buy it again...but then again I'm a car guy.
    Published 2 months ago by J. L. Mattox
    5.0 out of 5 stars Two-Lane Blacktop
    Awesome movie, a must-see for classic hot rod movie fans, I really like it! New movies just don't do it like these classics...
    Published 2 months ago by R. Graham
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
    Great pack. Bought it for my father in law for Christmas and he loved it! Very pleased with the disc set.
    Published 2 months ago by Deedles
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