The wide open road is used in fiction constantly as a metaphor for adventure, self-discovery and change. Nobody understands the open road better than a lorry driver; every single haulier that I know has a handful of great stories to tell about their experiences behind the wheel. |
There have been many terrific trucker movies over the years across a variety of genres which have tackled different themes. Here are a few of my personal favourites, all of which any trucker will get a real kick out of.
Breakdown is a 1997 film starring Kurt Russell as Jeff, a man on a mission to save his wife after she becomes kidnapped by a trucker when they become stranded in the New Mexico desert. Although the lorry driver character is a villain (as they often are in Hollywood), this is an exhilarating action film with a weaving plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Russell is one of the great action heroes/anti-heroes – this is another great example of his work. It is also not the only trucking escapade he found himself involved in (read on).
Long-haul truck drivers are highly aware just how demanding and stressful the work is, but unfortunately the public do not always seem to recognise it. This is why I encourage you to show the fascinating 2007 documentary Big Rig to your friends and family. It provides a great insight into the life and culture of truckers in the USA. This is portrayed through a series of interviews with hauliers, who tell their own stories of the road and give an insight into the trucking community.
More often than not, truckers are cast as the villains (probably due to the imposing size of the vehicles). Not in the 1978 action film Convoy, where a convoy of misfit truckers lead by Martin “Rubber Duck” Penwald (Kris Kristofferson) take a stand against a corrupt sheriff. Entertaining and action-packed with an awesome theme song – Convoy is a must see for any trucker and/or action lover.
Big Trouble in Little China
This John Carpenter 1986 classic sees Kurt Russell once again involved in a truck-related adventure. Russell plays the tough and rugged lorry driver Jack Burton, who becomes caught up in a surreal centuries-old mystical battle in a strange underworld beneath San Francisco’s Chinatown. Whilst it bombed upon release, it has since become a fun 80s cult classic and Russell once again proves that he is not to be messed with.
A 1998 film starring the great Patrick Swayze, Black Dog is loved by many and despised by others. One thing is for sure, it certainly is action-packed and I find it to be great fun. Swayze plays Jack Crews, who is an ex-con forced into a truck job where he must transport a shipment of illegal arms. The action comes thick and fast, as he is hell-bent on making the drop-off despite attempted hijackings and other obstacles standing in his way.
Smokey and the Bandit
This 1977 action-comedy, which has a fantastic cast that includes Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason, would inspire a handful of other trucker films (including two sequels). The plot sees two southern truckers transporting outlawed beer across state lines, but they soon attract the attention of the law after picking up a runaway bride who just happens to be the fiancée of the sheriff’s son. Smokey and the Bandit is now a classic which had a large cultural impact in the States.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage loads with an available lorry driver in the right area. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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