The Road Movie Book

By Steven Cohan; Ina Rae Hark | Go to book overview

As these final essays point out, the 1990s have once again revealed the endless permutations and combinations available on the road for the cinematic imagination. Even mainstream road films with heterosexual protagonists have changed markedly during this decade. The outlaw-couple film productively reinvented itself through the lens of postmodernism (Wild at Heart, Kalifornia, True Romance, Natural Born Killers). And, just when the buddy movie might seem to have exhausted its resources, late-1996 releases in the US feature a man-elephant buddy pair (Larger than Life) and feuding former presidents (My Fellow Americans), as well as a more familiar coupling of mismatched road men (Good Luck). The essays in The Road Movie Book remind us just how varied and adaptable the genre has always been and, we hope, will prevent in the future the ahistorical pronouncements that have too often underestimated the genre in the act of describing it.

Syracuse, New York
Columbia, South Carolina
December, 1996


Works Cited
Atkinson, Michael. “Crossing the Frontiers.” Sight and Sound 1 (1994): 14-18.
Baudrillard, Jean. America, trans. Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1988.
Benson, Shelia. “True or False: Thelma and Louise Just Good Ol” Boys?” Los Angeles Times (May 13, 1991), Home Edition: F-1+. Los Angeles Times Online. August 9, 1996.
Ching, Barbara and Barnard, Rita. “From Screwballs to Cheeseballs: Comic Narrative and Ideology in Capra and Reiner.” New Orleans Review 17.3 (1990): 52-9.
Corrigan, Timothy. A Cinema Without Walls: Movies and Culture after Vietnam. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1991.
Dargis, Manohla. “Roads to Freedom.” Sight and Sound 3 (1991): 14-18.
Hill, Lee. Easy Rider. London: BFI, 1996.
Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. New York: Penguin, 1957.
Laderman, David. “What a Trip: The Road Film and American Culture.” Journal of Film and Video 48.1-2 (1996): 41-57.
“The Many Faces of Thelma and Louise.” Film Quarterly 45.2 (1991-2): 20-31.
Morrison, Patt. “Perspective on the Sexes; Get a Grip, Guys: This is Fantasy.” Los Angeles Times (July 22, 1991), Home Edition: B5+. Los Angeles Times Online. August 9, 1996.
Porter, Mark. “Michael Herr on Jack Kerouac's On the Road.Video Eyeball 2.2 (1995): 14-15, 22.
Rainer, Peter. “True or False: Thelma and Louise Just Good Ol' Boys?” Los Angeles Times, (May 31, 1991), Home Edition: F-1+. Los Angeles Times Online. August 9, 1996.
Turan, Peter. “Smooth Ride For 'Thelma & Louise.'” Los Angeles Times (May 24, 1991), Home Edition: F-1 + . Los Angeles Times Online. 1996.
Willis, Sharon. “Hardware and Hardbodies: What Do Women Want? A Reading of Thelma and Louise.” Film Theory Goes to the Movies, eds. Jim Collins, Hilary Radner, and Ava Preacher Collins. New York: Routledge, 1993. 120-8.
Wood, Robin. Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.

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The Road Movie Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Plates ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Works Cited 14
  • Part I - Mapping Boundaries 15
  • 1 - “hitler Can't Keep 'Em That Long” 17
  • 2 - Western Meets Eastwood 45
  • 3 - Mad Love, Mobile Homes, and Dysfunctional Dicks 70
  • Notes 86
  • Works Cited 89
  • 4 - On the Run and on the Road 90
  • Works Cited 107
  • Part II - American Roads 111
  • 5 - Almost like Being at Home 113
  • 6 - Wanderlust and Wire Wheels 143
  • 7 - Exposing Intimacy in Russ Meyer's Motorpsycho! and Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! 165
  • 8 - The Road to Dystopia 179
  • Works Cited 202
  • 9 - Fear of Flying 204
  • Notes 227
  • Works Cited 228
  • Part III - Alternative Routes 231
  • 10 - The Nation, the Body, and the Autostrada 233
  • 11 - “we Don't Need to Know the Way Home” 249
  • 12 - Hom E and Away 271
  • 13 - Race on the Road 287
  • 14 - Revitalizing the Road Genre 307
  • 15 - My Own Private Idaho and the New Queer Road Movies 330
  • 16 - Disassociated Masculinities and Geographies of the Road 349
  • Index of Films 371
  • General Index 375
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