Monte Hellman, Cult Director of ‘Two-Lane Blacktop,’ Dies at 91

“We thought it was good publicity,” Mr. Hellman stated of the Esquire difficulty in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1999, when “Two-Lane Blacktop” lastly made it to video. “In hindsight, we wouldn’t have done it. I think it raised people’s expectations. They couldn’t accept the movie for what it was.”

French movie critics did, and their enthusiasm unfold to the United States. As the 1970s turned acknowledged as a golden age of unbiased movie, the movie’s repute, and its director’s, soared. In 2005, the journal Cahiers du Cinéma pronounced it “one of the greatest American films of the 1970s.”

Monte Himmelbaum was born in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on July 12, 1929, and grew up in Albany, N.Y., the place his father ran a small grocery retailer. When he was s6, the household moved to Los Angeles.

He majored in speech and drama at Stanford, the place he directed radio performs, and after graduating in 1951, he studied movie at U.C.L.A. Around this time, he modified his final identify.

In 1952, Mr. Hellman helped discovered the Stumptown Players, a summer time theater troupe, in Guerneville, Calif. Carol Burnett was a member. He directed quite a few productions and crammed in as an actor when required.

His first marriage was to 1 of the theater’s actresses, Barboura Morris. The marriage resulted in divorce. He was married three different occasions, his daughter stated. He is survived by a brother, Herb; and two kids, Melissa and Jared.

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