Sunday, March 27, 2011

Top 10 Road Movies

Americans do them best, naturally, for they're really just modern westerns, but a German named Wim also did some great ones. One English addition is worth watching too: Chris Petit's Radio On, an anti-road movie of sorts, heavily influenced by Wenders with cinematography and a soundtrack to match.

1.Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971)
Existentialism at its bleakest with musicians James Taylor and Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson (whose fine solo album Pacific Ocean Blue was finally released on CD a few years back) racing against Warren Oates and the destruction of the celluloid itself.
2. Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)
For better or worse, the one that started it all.
3. Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973)
Malick's astonishing debut with Martin Sheen as the James Dean lookalike shooting his way across the Midwest with oblivious Sissy Spacek in tow. Warren Oates has a cameo.
4. Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
Beatty and Dunaway never looked so fine.
5. Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)
Jack Nicholson as the gifted, middle class drifter.
6. Kings Of the Road (Wim Wenders, 1976)
A three-hour black and white German road movie with very little dialogue, anyone?
7. National Lampoon’s Vacation (Harold Ramis, 1983)
Well, after Wenders and Hellman, we need a bit of light relief.
8. Duel (Steven Spielberg, 1971)
Jaws as truck.
9. Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991)
Who says women are bad drivers?
10. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (John Hughes, 1987)
We may never fully recover from the pillow scene.

See also: Alice in the Cities, Midnight Run, The Hitcher, Vanishing Point, The Brown Bunny, The Driver, The Getaway, Mad Max, Detour


Jake and Elwood said...

The Blues Brothers...

Barnaby said...