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TWO-LANE BLACKTOP

Esquire was one of the great American magazines of the 1960s. With Harold Hayes at the helm (from 1963–1973) and George Lois designing iconoclastic covers on a monthly basis, Esquire—at least until Rolling Stone appeared in 1967—covered the changes roiling post-JFK society better than any other mainstream publication of its time.

For the April, 1971 issue, Hayes and company got behind Monte Hellman’s film TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, publishing a cover story that included Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry’s complete screenplay. With rock stars James Taylor and Dennis Wilson in the cast and songs by The Doors on the soundtrack, Universal thought it was getting Easy Rider part two. What it got instead was a deconstructed road film-as-discourse on American solitude whose cult has only grown in the 45 years since its release.

TWO-LANE BLACKTOP plays this weekend at the Wilder—on a bill with VANISHING POINT, directed by Richard C. Sarafian—as part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive series Opening Wednesday: The Shadow Cinema of the 1970s.

TWO-LANE BLACKTOP and VANISHING POINT, Saturday, August 12, at 7:30.

BILLY WILDER THEATER, Hammer Museum, Westwood, Los Angeles.

cinema.ucla.edu/events/2017/08/12/two-lane-blacktop-vanishing-point

archive.esquire.com/issue/19710401

Top right: Dennis Wilson (left) and James Taylor.

Dennis Wilson and James Taylor in Two-Lane Blacktop.

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