THE MOST ICONIC ROAD TRIP MOVIES OF ALL TIME
WORDS: MARNI ROSE MCFALL Photographer: JANE DOE
Chaos, camaraderie, coming of age. Dreams, death and desire. The road trip film is a classic for a reason. On the open road, anything can happen. Speeding down the highway, friends, lovers and, sometimes, enemies by your side. Open windows, wind in your hair, your whole life ahead of you.
Almost Famous, On The Road, Little Miss Sunshine (and, our most recent campaign), the road trip has long been a gold mine of inspiration for art. Why, you ask? Because it represents limitless possibilities. You set off in a car and you leave the world behind. And these road trip films have one thing in common: it’s never about the destination, it’s always about the journey. From Bonnie and Clyde to Queen and Slim, in celebration of our most recent campaign, we’re diving into the most iconic movie road trips of all time. All you need to do now? Shut up, and drive.
“Well, I’m Miss Bonnie Parker and this here is Mr. Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.”
Starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beaty, Bonnie and Clyde is perhaps the quintessential gangster movie. Based on the true story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, a pair of outlaws from Depression-era America, the film follows Dunaway and Beaty on a violent crime spree as they speed across America stealing cars and robbing banks. Today, the controversial crime classic is considered by many to be one of the most influential American films ever made, having kicked off a revolution in Hollywood and going on to inspire films like The Godfather and The Departed. Not to mention the songs it inspired. Violent and highly sexual, it was vivid, scandalous and salacious, and it shattered the status quo. An icon of American cinema? Absolutely. And honestly, it’s worth a watch for Faye Dunaway’s outfits alone.
“I think what you did was… so romantic.”
Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken and Brad Pitt, as far as ‘90s cult classics go, True Romance is one of the best out there. Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, this high-energy flick follows newlywed Slater and Arquette as they go on the run from the Mafia having stolen a shipment of drugs. While the film originally flopped at the at the box office, thirty years after its release it’s become a stone-cold classic and a cornerstone of pop culture (read: Sydney Sweeney dressing up as Arquette’s Alabama Worely in Euphoria). Think high-stakes drama, the madness of love, electric violence and classic Tarantino chaos. As for the outfits? That cow-print mini will live in our minds forever.
“Louise, no matter what happens, I’m glad I came with you.”
A feminist crime classic that follows in the tradition of Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise is an outrageous, action-packed, explosive film. Following two best friends, Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) and Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis), as they set off on a road trip in an (instantly iconic) white T-Bird. Today, it’s widely considered to be one of Hollywood’s first feminist movies, and one of its best depictions of female friendship, thanks to the film’s portrayal of just how far we’ll go to protect our friends. Expect love, laughter, trauma, and a cameo from Brad Pitt. Get your headscarf ready and put some sunglasses on, it’s going to be a wild ride.
THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT
“I hereby christen this budget Barbie Camper, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”
Dream-drenched, flamboyant and tender, this 1994 road comedy film, written and directed by Stephan Elliot, is hailed as an ultra-camp cult classic. The film follows two drag queens, played by Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, and a transgender woman played by Terence Stamp, as they travel through the Australian outback decked out in sequins and glitter, teetering on platform heels. Today, the film is lauded for bringing LGBTQIA+ themes to a mainstream audience, and thirty years after its release, it remains a unique and impressive film that’ll have you laughing one minute and crying the next.
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS
“Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”
A journalist and his lawyer speed across the Nevada desert toward Las Vegas in a red convertible with a trunk full of drugs. Psychedelic chaos ensues. Starring Johnny Depp and based on Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo journalist novel by the same name, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a gem of ‘90s cinema. Ft. vivid, mind-bending visuals, iconic one-liners and an incredibly wild plotline, this film is a torpedo ride through America. As for the fashion? It’s all printed shirts, rose-tinted specs and bucket hats. Not much has changed, then.
“I always tell the girls, never take it seriously.”
Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, Almost Famous is a love letter to the ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll scene. It tells the story of 15-year-old William Miller (who is loosely based on Crowe himself) as he covers the rock music scene for Rolling Stone magazine, touring with the fictitious band Stillwater. The star of the show? The perennial groupie, Penny Lane, played by the imitable Kate Hudson, he meets on the way. Come for the ‘70s aesthetics (and Kate Hudson’s outfits) and stay for the heart-warming coming-of-age narrative.
“Now, none of us has any idea where life’s gonna take us, ‘cause what we have is now. And right now, we have each other.”
Don’t let the 15% on Rotten Tomatoes fool you, this film, starring Britney Spears and written by Shonda Rhimes, is the literal definition of underrated. The film, which co-starred Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning, saw Britney Spears make her acting debut. And, while it was met with a scathing critical reception, in 2023, it holds up as a Y2K-fever dream and an ode to female friendship. The fashion is intoxicating, the plot is heart-warming, and the soundtrack, which features classic Britney tracks like I’m A Girl Not Yet A Woman, and, a cover of Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, is iconic.
“A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning he doesn’t even try.”
A darling of the indie film scene, Little Miss Sunshine is an American tragicomedy that follows a dysfunctional family as they travel across America in a VW bus to get their youngest daughter to compete in a child beauty pageant. Arty, quirky, complicated and, at points, unsettling, the film tackles loss, suicide and financial troubles. Devastating, sweet and funny, it’s an unforgettable dark comedy that remains a firm favourite of film lovers everywhere. And that yellow campervan? It’s forever in our hearts.
“The only people for me are the mad ones.”
Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s classic 1957 novel by the same name, the 2012 adaptation of On The Road, starring Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart, was an instant cult classic. An ode to taking the scenic route, complete with a red-hot soundtrack and roster of eccentric characters, bringing a classic to the big screen is no small feat, but Walter Sales’s adaptation of On The Road does it flawlessly. Sure, by 2023’s standards, the Beats poets are exactly the kind of boys TikTok girlies would tell you to run a mile from, but this dirty, free-spirited run across America sure looks good.
Queen and Slim is an on-the-go thriller about a couple who go on the run after killing a police officer in self-defence. Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith and directed by Melina Matsoukas (the Grammy award-winning director of Beyoncé’s Formation video), it’s provocative and powerful. The film charts a passionate love-on-the-run romance, set against the backdrop of a racially divided modern America. Exploring the terror, trauma and grief of police brutality in America, alongside incredible performances from Kaluuya and Turner-Smith, made it an instant classic. So much more than its fashion, its fashion is, however, iconic. Styled by Shionia Turini, we see Kaluuya in a head-to-toe burgundy velour tracksuit. And Turner-Smith in a tiger print mini and snakeskin boots.