Couples-on-the-run films now work as a sub-genre in Road Movies, from the films noir of Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour and Joseph H. Lewis’ Gun Crazy to Jean-Luc Godard’s existentialism in Pierrot le Fou and his anarchic Weekend, where a traffic jam represents the approaching cataclysm that will destroy civilization. Rather timely due to current events.
Today, the term ‘Road Movie’ has traveled in many directions where virtually any film, narrative or otherwise, can be interpreted as a journey. Examples include, George Lucas’ American Graffiti (1973), David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996) and Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges (2008) where there is no transport from the films’ central locations.
The Top Twenty Road Movies (Part 2)
11. It Happened One Night (1934)
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.
12. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Bored waitress Bonnie Parker falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, stealing cars and robbing banks.
13. Harry and Tonto (1974)
When his apartment building is torn down, a retired lifelong New Yorker goes on a cross country odyssey with his beloved cat Tonto.
14. The Wages of Fear (original title, Le salaire de la peur) (1953)
In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.
15. Two-Lane Blacktop (1974)
Two men drag-racing across the U.S., in a ’55 Chevy. The Beach Boy’s Dennis Wilson is the mechanic, and singer-songwriter James Taylor is the driver.
16. Vagabond (original title, Sans toit ni loi) (1985)
A young woman’s body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.
17. Lost in America (1985)
A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits and cruise America in a Winnebago.
18. Easy Rider (1969)
Through the open country and desert lands, two bikers head from L.A. to New Orleans; and along the way, meet a man (played by Jack Nicholson) who bridges a counter-culture gap between them.
19. The Motorcycle Diaries (2014)
The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara took in his youth that showed him his life’s calling.
20. Rain Man (1988)
Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt’s father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.#1-10 Top Road Movies Individual Critics’ Selections