Two for the Road (1967)

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Movie Info

In preparing his romantic comedy Two For the Road, director Stanley Donen decided to utilize many of the cinematic techniques popularized by the French "nouvelle vague" filmmakers. Jump cutting back and forth in time with seeming abandon, Donen and scriptwriter Frederic Raphael chronicle the 12-year relationship between architect Wallace (Albert Finney) and his wife (Audrey Hepburn). While backpacking through Europe, student Finney falls for lovely music student Jacqueline Bisset, but later settles for Hepburn, another aspiring musician (this vignette served as the launching pad for the film-within-a-film in Francois Truffaut's 1973 classic Day for Night). Once married, Finney and Hepburn go on a desultory honeymoon, travelling in the company of insufferable American tourists William Daniels and Eleanor Bron and their equally odious daughter Gabrielle Middleton. Later on, during yet another road trip, Finney is offered an irresistible job opportunity by Claude Dauphin, which ultimately distances Finney from his now-pregnant wife. Still remaining on the road, the film then details Finney and Hepburn's separate infidelities. The film ends where it begins, with Finney and Hepburn taking still another road vacation, hoping to sew up their unraveling marriage. While critics did nip-ups over Stanley Donen's "revolutionary" nonlinear story-telling techniques, audiences responded to the chemistry between Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, not to mention the unforgettable musical score by Henry Mancini. Note: many TV prints of Two for the Road are edited for content, robbing the viewer of Finney and Hepburn's delightful "Bitch/Bastard" closing endearments. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Audrey Hepburn
as Joanna Wallace
Albert Finney
as Mark Wallace
Eleanor Bron
as Cathy Manchester
William Daniels
as Howard Manchester
Claude Dauphin
as Maurice Dalbret
Nadia Gray
as Francoise Dalbret
Gabrielle Middleton
as Ruth Manchester
Irène Hilda
as Yvonne de Florac
Karyn Balm
as Simone
Mario Verdon
as Palamos
Roger Dann
as Gilbert
Libby Morris
as American Lady
Yves Barsacq
as Police Inspector
Helene Tossy
as Mme. Solange
Jean-Francois Lalet
as Boat Officer
Albert Michel Jr.
as Customs' Officer
Joanna Jones
as Joanna's Touring Friend
Sophia Torkeli
as Joanna's Touring Friend
Patricia Viterbo
as Joanna's Touring Friend
Olga George Picot
as Joanna's Touring Friend
Clarissa Hillel
as Joanna's Touring Friend
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Critic Reviews for Two for the Road

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2)

A Hollywood-style romance between beautiful people, and an honest story about recognizable human beings.

Jul 2, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

The picture never quite finds its tone.

Aug 30, 2012 | Full Review…

It's more facile than poignant.

Jul 12, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Hepburn, shedding her established persona with glee, is particularly great, while Frederic Raphael's acerbic screenplay has touches of material he'd explore decades later with Eyes Wide Shut.

Jan 28, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

With Two for the Road... Donen took a romantic comedy and deconstructed it, using the nonlinear structure and jump cuts that were being popularised at the time by the French new wave.

Jan 23, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A benchmark of marital dischord with luminous Hepburn, cheeky Finney

Jan 11, 2007 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Two for the Road

The film chronicles several journeys in a couple's relationship. While the performances by Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn are often delightful, the film's primary problem is its unevenness. It's occasionally hard to follow, and the mix of happy times and marital discord never quite finds its proper balance. Overall, there are parts of this film that are fun, but the film as a whole lacks cohesiveness.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

An au courant account -by the swinging sixties' standards- of a relationship and the institution of marriage, shown through all its stages with lots of charm. From a narrative standpoint it might be a bit muddled, but Hepburn and Finney give the right touch of wit, chemistry, cynicism and joie de vivre for all to be pleased.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

Albert Finney is sososososo hot. This is what Shoot the Moon wants to be but isn't. I'm glad it ends happily - really, really glad.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

"two for the road" is a refreshingly unique example of abandoned gentility from both director stanley donen and demure glamour star audrey hepburn who has impressed audience universally with her princessly benevolent attribute. now both donen and hepburn have to deal with blatant exclamation of sex without descending into vulgarity even at moments audrey hepburn gets scorned as a "BITCH". meanwhile donen has to exert the french new-wave method on a non-linear script without losing his masterful touch. this is a story upon a couple falling head over heels in love on the journey of hitchhiking along europe continent, entwined with their sizzling chemistry of opposite attraction: an amorous ingenue get smitten with cynical chauvinist who mocks marriage. somehow these two eventually gets married despite the collisions of their living philosophies. the camera wheels along their conjuring of past memories, and it's like a story book clipped into pieces then pastiched together as the protagonists' threads of thoughts catapult from one ground to another, resonated with french post-structualist literature as the stream-lined time scale has been omitted while our spectrum of emotionality has been excerpted into microscopic inspections. but "two for the road" is incredibly far from self-indulgent eccentricity or disjointed style over substance that has permeated in "thomas crown affair" which is also another new-wave-tinted flick released in 1967. albert finney is definitely not a debonair like cary grant who has been the frequent lead in stanley donen's romantic drama like "indiscreet" and "the grass is greener" (both movies are very britishly suave), and the rawly sneering mannerism of finney has been a great contrast to hepburn's girlish naivete (even she was 37 then), such as the conversation about "virgin detection", and once again it's also a dialogue-driven movie with timelessly contemporary wisecrackers upon love and sex within marriage. it doesn't appear dated even at 2000s with its bohemian viewpoint upon romance on the road. once again, audrey hepburn's star magnitude whitewashes the possible sordidness within some serious subject matters in the movie, and that includes infidelity with lines like "i humuliated you, but i'm back!" or "sex is better when it means less because it ain't personal anymore"...the potential abrasiveness gets purified due to the childlike interactions of hepburn and finney even when the couple are committing improper sins, just like their remarks toward each other as "bitch" and "bastard" at the brightful ending of their smacking kisses. there's no sense of profanity but taunting of two kids playing houses. as for the fashion aspect of "two for the road", audrey hepburn emancipates from her genteel wardrobe of givenchy (who has created the whole hepburn legend in movies like "breakfast at tiffany's" and "sarbrina") to reel into the leisure-wear with leather-skin jacket and blue jeans, along with a beatnik leading man who prefers sex as "good service without binding contract"...perhaps it reflects the conforming phenomenon of the upcoming 70s, even icons of gentility have to demonstrate their cinematic liberations for chicness as audrey hepburn into slacks and stanley donen into road-movie romance without self-composed gentlemen and ladies.

Veronique Kwak
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

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