Drag racing east from L.A. in a souped-up ‘55 Chevy are the wayward Driver and Mechanic, accompanied by a tagalong Girl. Monte Hellman’s look at American male obsession is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever.
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Hellman films the idea of the road a timeless flat plane of existence an endless horizon a freedom that is separate from society and the settled civilization a freedom outside of the body and the mind the freedom of the wind the film is basically an endless race without a destination and ends with a retelling of Icarus where man is engulfed in a void of ultimate meaningless.
Empty, cold-hearted people with desolate lives, chasing each other across the highways. Bresson goes to America, perhaps, but it feels like a waste when the great Warren Oates is not onscreen. Richard Linklater: "Because there was once a god who walked the Earth named Warren Oates." 3.5*
A lonely, lonely movie telling a very lonely tale. I'm not quite sure how that I can even properly rate this one. Seems like it needs multiple viewings, but I do know that I liked it and was drawn into the story, even if it does move at a VERY languid pace.
Eliding notions of identity and direction in its characters, Hellman and the wonderful scriptwriting duo explore the road trip dynamics with such tact and insight we ultimately understand their intentions are far more ambitious than they seem, and their success lies in the simplicity and sheer elegance of their craft.
The greatest road picture ever made. This is a beautiful film with some very intimate moments that feel like real life unfolding right before your eyes. Warren Oates especially shines as the unpredictable GTO.