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Convoy

By Sean Axmaker

Even in the tiny genre of films based on songs, Convoy is a strange effort--CW McCall's CB radio-themed novelty hit was just a collection of trucker slang, but here it is gussied up by Sam Peckinpah (no less) as a big rig reprise of The Wild Bunch with Kris Kristofferson as trucker outlaw hero Rubber Duck and a wonderfully oversized Ernest Borgnine as "Dirty Lyle", the "bear" who hates "breakers" and finally decides to call in the National Guard to help him enforce traffic laws with machine guns. The plot is almost invisible, as Rubber Duck and his breaker buddies just up and decide to trundle their lorries across the Western States in a dash for Mexico (no one ever mentions delivering their loads to intended destinations) and becoming such a folk hero that the creepy governor (Seymour Cassell) tries to cash in. Kristofferson and Borgnine were old Peckinpah hands, as is heroine Ali MacGraw (a characterless photographer) and sidekick Burt Young ("Love Machine" aka "Pigpen"), and there's a lot of business about cops and outlaws who mirror each other, but the main attraction is the visuals--huge trucks rolling across desert roads in clouds of dust, police cars crashing through billboards, trucks demolishing a corrupt small town. There are traces of road-movie melancholia in the depressed cafes, jails and laybys where free spirits are broken, but it's still mostly a cash-in on Smokey and the Bandit with a few rags of poetry tossed into the mix.

Share Your Memories!

Is Convoy one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Understandly most people would consider this average movie during the 70's along with hits like Smokey and the Bandit. But because of its origion from the 1975/76 country hit of same name by C.W. McCall and renegade director Sam Peckinpah, it turned out to be a definite cult favorite. Singer Kris Kristofferson did a great performace as Rubber Duck. Driving his "big black mack with can on back" he leads hundreds of trucks headed for the mexican border being chased by the abusive Sheriff Dirty Lyle, Ernest Borgnine. The climactic and explosive ending, fantastic soundtrack and open scenery makes this in alot of fans minds the best movie ever."

--Convoy71

"I was involved in the making of the movie back in Albuqureque NM. I worked for Malcolm Wrecker Service and we were picked by the movie crew to do all the equipment hauling, break-away cars and trucks ect. Our trucks were so sharp we were asked to have them in the movie. It was a great time and I met alot of great people."

--Dave Pino

"Please bring this movie back! My brother is a trucker and I would love to be able to give him this film on video as a gift!"

--Big Sis

"I was working a summer job at the local movie theatre when this movie was released. It did zero box office from what I could see. The cast included Burt Young, Kris Kristoferson, Ali McGraw, and Ernest Borgnine. The overall theme could loosely be described as anti-establishment, but that is difficult to reconcile with truck drivers belching diesel fumes into the atmosphere while delivering consumer goods around the country. A very bad movie, reviewed upon release by Time magazine as about as much fun as driving down the New Jersey Turnpike with your windows rolled down. As far as Peckinpah films go, it's a long way from The Wild Bunch."

--Anonymous

"My dad had a small role in Convoy as it was being filmed through New Mexico. He is the motorcycle officer with the white helmet, he is shown a few times and even has a speaking part! It really is exciting to see him on a show and in the credits!"

--Anonymous

""Smokey and the Bandit" sure made 18-wheelers popular, didn't it?! I was about 5-6 when these two movies came out, and the theme song to Convoy stuck in my head for YEARS!

Not a great movie, but a very cool one to a 6 year-old. I'll never forget the image of the semi going over the bridge at the endů"

--Tomreagan

"Convoy was the first film I ever saw on video VHS when I was about 5 or 6. The film was so good I still have that copy today even though its a little worn out. At the time I didn't quite get it but the trucks, fights and quality Super70s swearing were good enough. I now have the film on dvd and try to convert the masses to one of the greatest films of all time."

--Anonymous

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Sam Peckinpah

Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young

Released: June 28, 1978

Availability: DVD VHS


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