While traveling through the desert for an appointment with a client, the businessman David Mann from California passes a slow and old tanker truck. The psychotic truck driver feels offended and chases David along the empty highway trying to kill him.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The streaks on the back of David Mann's car change in size and number for no apparent reason. See more »
[radio playing, driving down the road, approaches the truck]
[David coughs, coughs again]
Talk about pollution.
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The man with the sandwich is referred to as "Hoagy Man". See more »
Spielberg shot an additional 16 minutes of footage (bringing the running time up to 90 minutes from the original 74 of the TV version), including a longer title sequence, the expansion of the gas station / laundromat scene towards the beginning of the film (the entire phone conversation with David Mann's wife being added), and the addition of a scene showing the killer truck trying to push Mann's car under a train at a railroad crossing. These new scenes can be noted by the fact that, for shooting the new footage, Universal had to purchase both a new red Plymouth Valiant and a similar Peterbilt semi truck. The Valiant is a 1972 model, which is very close to the original 1971 model in the original film, but not exact - and the differences can be noted in the film. See more »
This film proves that television can produce a quality film. Much like Spielberg's first big theatrical hit, "Jaws", this film deals with a menace, the driver, that is pretty much unseen for most of the film. It also preys upon our fear of being caught in a desperate situation with no one around to help. Also, Dennis Weaver was perfectly cast as the unfortunate motorist that happens to be the prey of a psychotic truck driver. This definitely is a far cry from Weaver's most famous role of Marshall Sam McCloud, who was the typical hero compared to the terrified motorist he plays in this film. Too bad that we here in the United States never got a chance to see this great film in a theater like the rest of the world. This is definitely a classic suspense film.
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