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Poster for Two for the Road
Watch trailer for Two for the Road Watch trailer

Two for the Road

Director: Stanley Donen Run Time: 110 min. Format: 35mm Rating: NR Release Year: 1967 Language: English and French

Starring: Albert Finney, Audrey Hepburn, Eleanor Bron, William Daniels

Part of the VICE Presents: The Film Foundation Screening Series at Nitehawk Cinema. Two for the Road is a late 1960s British comedy/drama that tracks the winding road of life taken by a couple through their decade-long marriage. Includes a recorded introduction by Schawn Belston from Fox who restored Two for the Road.

While very literally set amongst the travels of destined couple Joanna and Mark Wallace, Stanley Donen’s Two for the Road is a metaphor for the journey taken by two people who, despite all the trials and triumphs, truly love each other. Through time-shifting vignettes, Two for the Road tracks the ebb and flow of the Wallace’’s ten year marriage: from their mismatched courtship after meeting on a road trip to their subsequent marriage to the birth of their children to the periodic infidelity. The film revels equally in the desire to have a partner in life as much as it does the sheer inevitability of people’s needs shifting over time.

Stanley Donen’s (Singing in the Rain) abandonment of a non-linear narrative troubled people upon release but its influence was not hampered. The scene in which Mark and Joanna first meet (he settles for her after losing out on beautiful music student played by Jacqueline Bisset) inspired the film-within-a-film motif in Francois Truffaut’s Day for Night (1973). But it’s ultimately Two for the Road’s embracement of the problematics of love rather than the unrealistic depictions ubiquitous in cinema that truly makes it an timeless classic. The movie ends ambiguously by showing the beginning of the Wallace’s relationship; perhaps a signifier that real relationships are on a continuous cycle of evolvement.

*A portion of each ticket sale goes towards The Film Foundation. Tickets also include complimentary Larceny Bourbon drinks at an after-party in Nitehawk’s downstairs bar! 

TWO FOR THE ROAD (1957, dir. Stanley Donen)
Restored by Twentieth Century Fox in collaboration with The Film Foundation.

Print courtesy of The Film Foundation Conservation Collection at the Academy Film Archive and Twentieth Century Fox.