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Archive for April 30th, 2019

by J.D. Lafrance

In anticipation of its release later that year, Esquire magazine ran a substantial piece on Two-Lane Blacktop, boldly proclaiming it to be the best film of 1971. Despite such high praise from a prestigious periodical, the studio refused to promote the film and it was barely released theatrically. Perhaps the studio felt that the minimalist plot and characterization, coupled with the existential vibe, wouldn’t appeal to a mainstream audience. However, over the years Two-Lane Blacktop has developed a small, but loyal following among car enthusiasts who fetishized the 1955 Chevy and 1970 Pontiac GTO featured so prominently that they deserve top billing alongside the lead actors. The film also found an audience with people who dug other nihilistic road movies like Easy Rider (1969) and Vanishing Point (1971).

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