Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fast & The Furious 70's Style

Two-Lane Blacktop
For C-500

James Taylor - The Driver
Warren Oates - G.T.O.
Laurie Bird - The Girl
Brian Wilson - The Mechanic

Since the new Fast & The Furious movie comes out tomorrow decided that I wanted to get this one out to more than just the Wait For The Ricochet... crowd. Let 'er rip!

Cult film director Monte Hellman follows up his legendary westerns THE SHOOTING and RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND with another bona fide classic, this time set on the paved highways of early 1970s America. Making their acting debuts, musicians Dennis Wilson and James Taylor play a pair of drag-racing drifters who battle against willing competitors all along the back roads of America, encountering a wild cast of characters. After stopping for lunch one afternoon, Taylor (The Driver) and Wilson (The Mechanic) discover a young woman in their back seat (Laurie Bird, credited as (The Girl). The newly formed trio continues to head east, and places a risky bet with Warren Oates after bumping into each other at a gas station. The first automobile to arrive in Washington D.C. is the winner. The prize: the loser's car (Taylor and Wilson drive a 1955 Chevy, while Oates pilots a 1970 Pontiac GTO). Strangely enough, rather than turning into a relentless fight to the finish, none of the participants seem too worried about picking up the pace. In fact, they act as if they're afraid of reaching their destinations, spurning an endless series of sidetracks that turns Hellman's film into a broad existential metaphor and cementing its place as one of 1970s Hollywood's bravest motion pictures.

Reviewed by CINETROPIC
Thirty years is a long time. In thirty years, you forget the details; the essence of life in 1970, until a rare screening of Two-Lane Blacktop brings it all back. Aside from the fact we were all much thinner then; the men had gorgeous sun drenched hair and an inexplicable quality of gentleness beneath a reckless, defiant exterior. Forget the war, the Cultural Revolution, for those of us sweet young things who populated the streets across America on Saturday night, we watched a young man's identity evolve from the horsepower under the hood of their Chevy Chevelle, Ford Mach I, or perhaps a Pontiac GTO. The rumble of glass pack mufflers, blurred by the glint of chrome, raging through the ¼ mile in the moonlight was as erotic as the rhythm of any bass guitar.
The emission control laws of the early 1970's added a few generations of life to the earth, but pushed those great muscle cars into the showrooms and garages of modern reality. On a rare Sunday, one of those garage doors opens and for a brief afternoon you can still catch the glint of passion in the eyes of one of those gentle, reckless souls of summer.

A&E Top 10 Muscle Cars
10. Chevy 409
9. Oldsmobile 442
8. Dodge Charger
7. Chevy Camaro
6. Ponitac Trans-Am
5. Plymouth Barracuda
4. Plymouth Roadrunner
3. Ford Boss Mustang
2. Chevy Chevelle
1. Pontiac GTO

***Have noticed some strange download patterns.

**Contains a swf file for subtitles. To remove subtitles from flick, delete it.
Happy racing!


Anonymous said...

Dude! It's Denis Wilson! Ya know, Charlies buddy!

C-500 said...

Rite-on, Tru!

One of my all time fave car movies!
The night scenes in the film are authentic,
the film crew had to work hard to be accepted by the street racers.
Also, the '55 Chevy was really a fast car, and later starred in George Lucas' movie,
'American Graffiti', then, with Harrison Ford as her driver.

Laters, C

@ Anonymous above...
It's Dennis Wilson, not Denis, dude! Doh!

DirtyDave07 said...

I still watch my well worn VHS copy of this classic!!!!..Now,what about Vanishing Point (1971,not the crappy made for TV movie) and ,for the truckers,White Line Fever?