Influential director Monte Hellman , whose 1971 film Two-Lane Blacktop starring musicians James Taylor and Dennis Wilson became a counterculture cult classic, died Tuesday. He was 91. His death at Eisenhower Health hospital in Palm Desert followed a fall at his home, his daughter, producer Melissa Hellman, told The New York Times. While not as well known as other directors of the New Hollywood of the late '60s and early '70s, Hellman was nonetheless influential. His sparse Two-Lane Blacktop , a post- Easy Rider character study about two street racers (Taylor is known only as The Driver, while the Beach Boys' Wilson is The Mechanic) became a cornerstone among American existentialist road movies. Related Story ‘Slumber Party Massacre’ Redo From Shout! Studios Scares Up Home At Syfy Hellman worked with the best actors of that New Hollywood generation, including Jack Nicolson and Warren Oates . He made his feature debut like so many other filmmakers of his generation – on a Roger Corman film, in his case called Beast From Haunted Cave . Hellman followed with Cordillera , a film co-written by Jack Nicolson and co-produced by frequent Coppola collaborator Fred Roos. In 1966, the director teamed with screenwriter Carole Eastman… Read full this story
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