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Two for the Road
     

Two for the Road

4.6 12
Director: Stanley Donen, Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney, Eleanor Bron

Cast: Stanley Donen, Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney, Eleanor Bron

 
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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Viewers who know Albert Finney mainly as a middle-aged supporting player in such films as Erin Brockovich and Big Fish are in for a treat with this 1967 romance, featuring the English-born actor in his prime as a leading man. Two for the Road is also a showcase for his costar, the luminous Audrey Hepburn, whose beauty sometimes overshadowed her ability. Director Stanley Donen attempts to show and analyze just what it is that makes a marriage work, casting Finney and Hepburn as a couple shown taking the same trip -- from London to the French Riviera -- at three different stages of their lives. Crosscutting brings out different aspects of the relationship, as Donen flashes forward and back from one period to another, painting a picture of the marriage's evolution. Hepburn portrays her character first as a young and impressible newlywed, then a pregnant wife anticipating the birth of her first child, and then, five years into the marriage, a restive spouse just beginning to show boredom. Finney's slightly stuffy husband doesn't quite show the same progression of emotional growth, which of course contributes to his wife's discontent. He has the less showy role but plays it with such perfect pitch that the viewer never entirely loses sympathy for him. The views on marriage expressed by screenwriter Frederic Raphael are by turns perceptive, amusing, cynical, and even bitter, but Donen's direction, the stars' performances, and the glamorous Continental locations maintain an air of sophistication that makes Two for the Road a delightful cinematic jaunt.
All Movie Guide
A departure from Hollywood musicals for director Stanley Donen, Two For the Road is one of the most mature films of his career. Donen skillfully cuts between multiple, interwoven flashbacks in an attempt to create a palpable feeling of passing time over the course of one marriage. For the most part, the director properly balances both the serious and comic aspects of the script. The film's sweeter moments give an uncommon depth to the more dramatic sequences. The performances help immensely: Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn are both very human as man and wife, and they have a distinct chemistry together. Hepburn particularly stands out in the character's older scenes.
Entertainment Weekly
Hollywood has never given us a smarter, more elegant, or more touching movie about the making, mauling, and mending of a marriage. -- Mark Harris

Product Details

Release Date:
11/01/2005
UPC:
0024543208129
Original Release:
1967
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:51:00
Sales rank:
1,497

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by director Stanley Donen; Restoration comparison; Still gallery; Theatrical trailer; Widescreen format (Aspect ratio: 2.35:1); Audio: English stereo, English mono, French mono, Spanish mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audrey Hepburn Joanna Wallace
Albert Finney Mark Wallace
Eleanor Bron Cathy Manchester
William Daniels Howard Manchester
Claude Dauphin Maurice Dalbret
Georges Descrieres David
Nadia Gray Francoise Dalbret
Gabrielle Middleton Ruth Manch
Roger Dann Gilbert
Libby Morris American Lady
Jacqueline Bisset Jackie
Judy Cornwell Pat
Patricia Viterbo Joanna's touring girl friends
Yves Barsacq Police Inspector
Helene Tossy Mme. Solange
Albert Michel Customs' Officer

Technical Credits
Stanley Donen Director,Producer
Hardy Amies Costumes/Costume Designer
Georges Bouban Makeup
Christopher G. Challis Cinematographer
Alberto de Rossi Makeup
Marc Frederix Art Director
Madeleine Gug Editor
Willy Holt Art Director
Henry Mancini Score Composer
Richard Marden Editor
Mary Quant Costumes/Costume Designer
Frederic Raphael Screenwriter
Ken Scott Costumes/Costume Designer
Roger Volper Set Decoration/Design

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Two for the Road
1. Main Titles [2:18]
2. Married People [3:48]
3. Beginnings [7:54]
4. A Pox on You [1:02]
5. Thumbing It [2:56]
6. Old Flame [4:01]
7. In and Out of Love [6:55]
8. Spare the Rod [:58]
9. Fire! [5:30]
10. A Child's Curiosity [3:32]
11. Trés Cher [5:43]
12. MG Amok [:35]
13. On the Road Again [:41]
14. Unfaithful [8:03]
15. Cote D'Azur [1:38]
16. Climbing the Ladder [1:15]
17. After the Ball [4:55]
18. Prposal [4:22]
19. The Second Time Around [3:42]
20. Free Choice [8:08]
21. Rapprochement [1:53]
22. Always [1:33]
23. Happy Times [2:36]
24. End Titles [2:15]

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Two for the Road 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
MABM More than 1 year ago
A wonderful look at what marriage can become if not nurtured. Well worth seeing. Nice to remember what Finney looked like in his salad days and Audrey Hepburn is worth seeing in any role. Most enjoyable
Guest More than 1 year ago
In his lengthy preface to his published screenplay for "Two for the Road", Frederic Raphael discusses his desire to create a film in which the characters would simply "live their lives." He wanted to avoid, as much as possible, having characters that would represent anything other than a shared experience between the two. Mark and Joanna lead lives familiar to us all they are neither tragic nor comic characters in the classic sense. Therefore, it becomes a kind of cinematic inkblot. You can take away from the film whatever you wish, depending on what you recognize about Mark, Joanna, and/or their relationship: the emotions the film evokes are linked directly in the viewer's experiences. I found "Two for the Road" to be the best American movie of 1967, which, to me, is quite an achievement, since I consider 1967 the best year for American movies of the entire decade. Both Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney give brilliant performances, possibly Audrey's best. She is amazing in her ability to play a very young girl, a just-pregnant wife of two years, and a beginning-to-be-bored wife of five years. Helped partially by her variations in her wardrobe and hairdos, but mostly by her facial expressions, she's completely believable, lovable and totally delightful. Finney successfully manages to bring off the frequent sharp transitions from youthful student to young married to disconnected successful architect and back again. Happily, whenever the marital strife skitters closer to tragedy than comedy, Director Stanley Donen who proves himself an adroit craftsman and a supreme entertainer, takes the viewer's eye off the brawl by ushering in William Daniels and Eleanor Bron parodying a WASPish American and his shrewish wife along with their spoiled small daughter, Ruthie. In execution, it is the complex interweaving of flashbacks, a varied and subtle and lighthearted exploration of how love leads to marriage, and how love and marriage change over the years. Mark Wallace: "What kind of people just sit in a restaurant and don't say one word to each other?" Joanna Wallace: "Married people?" A tremendous asset for the film is one of the most romantic scores Henry Mancini ever composed. Every mood is enhanced, whether Mancini is using a lush orchestral sound to heighten the good times in Mark and Joanna's relationship or a piano and french horn duet to deepen the despair. Mancini has called "Two for the Road" his favorite picture. "Two for the Road" won no Academy Awards in 1967. Its only Oscar nomination was for Frederic Raphael's original screenplay--and that award went (incredibly) to William Rose for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Audrey was nominated, but for "Wait Until Dark" released later that same year. Belatedly saluting her portrayal of Joanna Wallace, producer Richard Zanuck and both Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton named it the best by an actress during the Sixties.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When we were in high school my sister and I went to the College Theater in Brooklyn,NY and stayed and watched this movie over and over on a very rainy Saturday. It was such a romantic movie. I really discovered Audrey Hepburn and have loved her ever since this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is still one of the best love stories of the 1960s.The writing,acting,and directing are all pitch-perfect.Frederic Raphael's witty,incisve,intellignet script contains much humor and delivers some stinging barbs at marriage.Stanley Donen's sharp,inventive direction results in one of his best films. And the brilliant performances are the icing on the cake.Albert Finney plays the gruff but lovable husband to absolute perfection. The supporting cast is wonderful(William Daniels is a hoot!).But the brightest light here is the movie's best asset,its leading lady.Audrey Hepburn is sexy,strong,and well-nigh radiantly irresistible here.Rarely was she so perfectly cast.She and Finney each give one of their best performances. "Two For The Road" is an absolute delight from start to finish.Sit back and enjoy!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
one of the gratest movies ever made
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw this lovely movie in 1967, just after it's release. I have the VHS tape, but why hasn't it been released on DVD? The movie was a refreshing change from the dross that usually plauges this genre. Stanley Donen's jump cutting was a revelation and remains fresh and stimulating to this day. No one has done it this well since, and I doubt if it will be bested. It's complexity never impedes the flow of the story or calls attention to itself because it is done so masterfully. I have enjoyed few movies as much as I enjoyed this one. I had not seen Albert Finney before, but I liked his acting style from the outset. I always adored the lovely Audrey Hepburn and I saw her first American movie, ''Roman Holiday'' with the late, great and much lamented Gregory Peck when it was new. I cannot imagine any other actress in her role in ''Two for the Road.'' It wouldn't have worked. If you don't own this gem, make haste to buy it. No good collection should be without it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You will cry over this movie if you cried over Terms of Endearment. The setting, plots, acting and music of this movie are simply superb. Its constant switching back and forth to different times of a couple's 12 year journey was done with remarkable directorial skill and it drew me in like no other movie could. I began it with a 'let us wait and see attitude' and ended it with my heart filled with emotions. If you are thinking about watching this movie, then please don't hesitate. It might become one of your favorites too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen many movies, which I either love or hate, or develop a tepid inner flow for. This movie, goes above the ''love'' , TO use a Woody Allen phrase, ''I did'nt love it, I lerved it.'' The film within a film genre, which may be confusing to some, was in this film an increase to the soul of the film. Donen has hit the right buttons. Performances are simply wonderful. Both Finney and Hepburn exude the very sexuality that is engulfing and quite realistic. Bravo performances! When asked by friends what my favorite film is, I feel a warm rush as I recall this wonderful story of love, life and soul-trembling euphoria....Without a doubt:Two for the Road. A definite keeper ! Ronald G. Asch