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(p.96) 6 Potholes
Bumpy Road
Sylvia Townsend
University Press of Mississippi

The film company finishes shooting the picture in this chapter.In Boswell, Oklahoma they use up the town’s water supply and two locals with a shotgun in a pickup truck run them out of town. The Universal executive Ned Tanen visits the set and becomes convinced the film will be a hit. James Taylor’s first hit song, “Fire and Rain,” climbs to the top of the charts, making him famous. Taylor’s newfound celebrity helps attract journalists to the travelling set, and all the publicity raises expectations for the low-budget existentialist car-racing movie. After Jaclyn Hellman’s sense memory exercises, which became fierce and antagonistic due to her distress over her husband’s mistress being along on the shoot, and Hellman’s withdrawal of the script and hands-off directing style, Taylor vows never to make another movie, and he never has.

Keywords:   Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, James Taylor, Ned Tanen, “Fire and Rain”

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