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Saturday Night Drive In Movie Facts

FEATURING
'TWO LANE BLACKTOP'
The parking lot of the DFW Airport Marriott will be turned into a DRIVE IN MOVIE THEATER on Saturday Night May 26th where we will take you back to the early 70's when we will be showing the classic 'road movie' Two Lane Blacktop. This movie has become legendary for it's depiction of a cross country race (much along the old Route 66) involving a 1970 GTO driven by Warren Oates and a 1955 Chevy with singer/songwriter James Taylor behind the wheel.  The movie is stark and has minimal dialogue, and follows the '55 Chevy that has Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson as 'The Mechanic' as they live on the road in the Southwest going from town to town making their money by challenging locals to impromptu street races.  They encounter the GTO along the way and a cross country race is suggested to Washington DC for 'pink slips', where the winner gets the title of the opponents car. 

Released in July of 1971, we will be showing Two Lane in 2018 on a huge 36' screen with a 5000 watt stereo system under the Texas stars right there in the parking lot of the host hotel!
Free to all registered participants of Lone Star '36'!

Stars
James Taylor
Warren Oates
Laurie Bird
Dennis Wilson
Directed by
 Monte Hellman

Two Lane Blacktop
Movie Trailer

 

  


Critic Reviews

Two-Lane Blacktop never stoops to the hippy v. redneck politics of Easy Rider, and it is a film that doesn’t do drugs—who needs such things with the euphoria of cars, the road, and sweaters? The race they engage in is supposed to be headed for D.C., but no one believes they’ll get that far. Somewhere in Tennessee the Driver and the Mechanic pick up a challenge with a side bet and the picture ends—not with that race or a conclusion—but with the film of Driver’s face jamming in the gate of the projector and beginning to burn. You can say that’s an easy way out, but I think it’s true to the harsh, deadpan poetics of this rare movie. - David Thomson, New Republic

The strange and sometimes pathetic world of barnstorming, hustling street-racing is explored with feeling by director-editor Monte Hellman. - Variety

Oates gives a compelling performance and musicians Taylor and Wilson supply the right degree of drifter cool. - Philippa Hawker, The Age

This is not a film about narrative but loneliness and life on the road, which it captures with a mysterious brilliance. - Damon Wise, Empire Magazine

Their universe is one that's familiar in recent American films like "Bonnie and Clyde," "Easy Rider" and "Five Easy Pieces." It consists of the miscellaneous establishments thrown up along the sides of the road to support life: motels, gas stations, hamburger stands. The road itself has a real identity in "Two-Lane Blacktop," as if it were a place to live and not just a way to move. There may be homes and gardens hidden behind those interstate terraces, but for the four people in this movie -- the road, as the saying goes, is home. - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
 

The '55 Chevy is the most recognizable car from the movie, and the baddest - we know that!
Here is a little background on one of the most famous '55 Chevys ever!

There were three ‘55 150 model Chevy’s used in the film built by Richard Ruth at his shop in North Hollywood, California for Universal Studios.  A stunt car, a car for exterior shots and a car for interior shots.  Power for the main car came from a 427 big block chevy with aluminum heads, Weiand tunnel ram intake manifold with two Holley four barrel carbs, through a rock crusher M-22 Muncie 4 speed and Olds 4:88 rear end and cost about $10,000 to produce.  A fiberglass flip front end, fiberglass doors and fiberglass trunk lid lightened the '55 for racing.  When production of the movie ended, one of the '55's (the one used for interior shots) was sold to a studio mechanic who removed the engine and put it in his boat.  His son dropped a 454 in the '55 and used it for a daily driver car for school.  The car passed through several hands before being 'rescued' in Canada in 2000 by Two Lane Historian Walt Bailey.  Richard Ruth authenticated the '55 and a combination restoration and preservation effort took place.  The car was returned to it's weathered primer gray appearance and was sold in 2015 at the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction.  The other two '55's were later used in the filming of American Graffiti.  Of these two, the stunt car was destroyed and later sold for scrap and the other now black '55 survived.   


TRIVIA FROM TWO LANE BLACKTOP



- The 3 '55 Chevys showed up for the filming painted powder blue, but the studio had them changed to gray primer to fit the persona of the racers in the movie. 

- The budget for Two Lane Blacktop was $875,000, with filming starting on August 13th, 1970 in Los Angeles and lasted for eight weeks with a crew of 30, 3 '55 Chevys and 2 '70 GTO's.

- A notable quote from the movie was when James Taylor (The Driver) is speaking to Warren Oates (GTO) "I don't believe I've seen you.  'Course there's lots o' cars on the road like yours, they all get to lookin' the same.  The perform about the same too ... " 

- Most of the filming was conducted on sections of the old Route 66. 

-
 The music featured in the film covers many genres, including rock, folk, blues, country, bluegrass and R&B.  Stars and musicians James Taylor and Dennis Wilson did not contribute any music.  However there are some notable tracks featured including 'Moonlight Drive' by The Doors, 'Stealiln' by Arlo Guthrie, the orginal version of 'Me & Bobbie McGee' by the song's author Kris Kristofferson and a song titled 'A Truckload Of Art' written and performed by Terry Allen which briefly can be heard coming out of the GTO. 

- Near the end, with the racers needing money, they make a stop in Memphis at the now closed Lakeland International Raceway where vintage clips of period drag racing are captured as part of the movie. 

- in 2009, James Taylor was reunited with the surviving Two Lane '55 that was used for interior shots, taking place at Boston concert after which Taylor introduced and screened 'Two Lane Blacktop' for the audience.

- in 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"

- This is the only time James Taylor acted in a movie, apart from cameos as himself.  He is the only main character still alive today.

- Kris Kristofferson was the first choice for the role of  "The Driver" played by James Taylor.

- Laurie Bird debuted in Two Lane, and would only star in two more films including Cockfighter (1974) and Annie Hall (1977) before taking her own life in New York in 1979.

- A drummer in real life for the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson gave his one and only acting performance in Two Lane.  He would die in a accidental drowning on December 28th, 1983 in Marina del Rey, California. 

- In one of the notable lines of the movie, while trying to get a street race at the local hangout, the local hot rod driver says "Let's Make It 50" and James Taylor playing  'The Driver' responds "Make it three yards Mother#$%@# and we'll have an auto - MO - bile race"

- Warren Oates who played GTO, was never destined to be a traditional leading man, but remained an in demand character player in Hollywood up until his sudden death from a heart attack on April 3, 1982 at age 53.