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On the Road

On the Road

Chapter:
(p.62) 4 On the Road
Source:
Bumpy Road
Author(s):
Sylvia Townsend
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496804143.003.0004

In this chapter, the filmmakers start shooting in Los Angeles, then take to the road, stopping in Needles, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Santa Fe, New Mexico, often travelling on smaller highways because street racers tend to avoid freeways populated by cops. A divide separates the hip actors and filmmakers from the more traditional, highly trained crew. The “above the line” filmmakers think the crew are right-wing yahoos, the crew thinks the filmmakers are inexperienced, pothead hippies. Indeed the untrained actors – Dennis Wilson, Laurie Bird and James Taylor -- flub lines, whistle and otherwise ruin scenes, necessitating repeated takes. Hellman withholds the script from his untrained actors, giving them only their lines for the day, generating their resentment. Hellman’s wife, Jaclyn, takes the amateur actors through sense memory exercises, dragging up painful recollections from their past and further irking them. Warren Oates joins the cast.

Keywords:   Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird

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