The Art of Now

05.21.14

10 Greatest Road Trip Movies

From ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ to ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ see the best films about hilarious (and sometimes unexpected) journeys.
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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). Mickey Rooney, Sid Caesar, Spencer Tracy, and Ethel Merman star in this quintessential road trip movie about a treasure hunt for $350,000.

The Blues Brothers (1980).  Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi are the iconic brothers on a mission from God to raise money for the orphanage that was their childhood home. Their cruising car of choice: a stolen police car.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006).  A dysfunctional family piles into a bright yellow hippie van to travel cross-country to get their daughter to a beauty pageant on time in this Oscar-winning flick starring Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, and a young Abigail Breslin.

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983).  The Griswold family (headed by Chevy Chase) makes the trip to a theme park in this Harold Ramis classic.  Even with the happiest place on earth as the final destination—in this case Walley World—the journey there isn’t easy. It is, however, hilarious.

The Wizard of Oz (1939).  The Technicolor classic’s adventure on foot is bright and musical.  The film is based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s book, as Dorothy (Judy Garland) journeys to Oz with her band of misfits to see the wonderful wizard. Icons were born in this film, especially the path everyone travelled on—the Yellow Brick Road.

Dumb and Dumber (1994). The only road trip where you may happen to lose brain cells while watching. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels embark on a mission to return a suitcase that Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas has fallen hopelessly in love with.

The Cannonball Run (1981).  This road trip movie is star-studded with Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, Burt Reynolds, and Dom DeLuise. The motley crew cast participates in an illegal cross-country car race, while doing anything to win.

Thelma and Louise (1991).  The Oscar-winning Ridley Scott classic is about two women (Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis) who take a break from boring reality and steal a car for a road trip. In the process, they wind up killing a man who threatens to rape them.

Easy Rider (1969).  Proof that you never really do forget how to ride a bicycle. Kind of. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper star in this film as two California motorcycle riders who take a rather scenic route on their way to Mardi Gras. There’s a brothel, a drunken lawyer, and a prison. What’s not to like?

O Brother, Where art Thou? (2000). Treasure is always a good motivator for arduous adventures.  The Coen brothers film takes place in 1930s Mississippi, as George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, and John Turturro escape their chain gang in search of the remnants of a bank heist.