‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac is often described as the great American novel that defined a generation. The novel is based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the country during a postwar time filled with jazz, drugs and soul-searching. The film adaptation, directed by Walter Salles, hits UK cinemas 12th October. To celebrate the release we’re counting down the 10 Best Road Trip movies of all time.
The Grapes of Wrath
This film based on the novel by John Steinbeck is the road movie that started it all. After the poor Joad family is forced off their land is the Midwest, they make the trek to California in hopes of a better life but find only a life of homelessness in the Great Depression.
Into the Wild
After graduating Emory University, Christopher McCandless abandons all his possessions, gives his entire savings account to charity and begins hitchhiking to Alaska. This film is a constant reminder that it is the people not the possessions that make life worth living. On the Road actress Kristen Stewart even makes an appearance as Chris’s brief love interest.
The Motorcycle Diaries
On the Road director Walter Salles proves no one knows more about directing a movie about a cross country adventure better than him. In Salles’ The Motorcycle Diaries, a young Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara accompanies his friend on a four month motorcycle ride throughout South America.
Wyatt ‘Captain America’ and Billy are two motorcycles riders travelling from Los Angeles to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras and trying to find the true spirit of America. Easy Rider is a film that explores the social issues in the United States during the 1960s, such as the rise and fall of the hippie movement, drug use, and communal lifestyle.
Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
After getting a gig at a resort in Alice Springs, three drag queens leave Sydney to begin an adventure across the Outback in their lavender bus named Priscilla. Road trips never looked so glamorous.
Little Miss Sunshine
When seven-year-old Olive learns that she has qualified for the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ beauty pageant in California, the whole dysfunctional family hops in their nearly broken-down Volkswagon bus to make the trip. This dark comedy is definitely worth the trip, especially for the hilariously family dance number to ‘Super Freak’ in the end.
Miles, an unsuccessful writer, decides to take his soon-to-be married actor friend Jack on a road trip through the Santa Ynez Valley wine country before the nuptials. Miles just wants to relax and indulge in his inner wino, while Jack is after one last fling. Paul Giammatti and Thomas Haden Church are truly the two best friends to ever share a bottle of Merlot.
Josh is a loving and devoted boyfriend to Tiffany. That is until he hooks up with another girl, tapes it and accidentally sends that tape to Tiffany. Thus begins a hilarious yet ill-fated cross country trip to reach Josh’s girlfriend before the tape does.
Mel Gibson is the ultimate road warrior as a cop out for revenge in apocalyptic Australia. The highways in the future are terrorized by vicious biker gangs. After his family is murdered by the bikers, Max descends into insanity as he takes the law into his own hands and hunts them down one by one.
The great American road trip is reinvented with a fake diplomat recording his inappropriate reactions to pretty much everyone he encounters. Controversial is putting this film lightly but there is one thing I know everyone can agree on. Nobody pulls off a mankini as well as Sacha Baron Cohen.
On the Road is in UK Cinemas 12th October 2012.