I Saw A Film!
Truckers! I do love Trucker Films! We all do really, it’s just a matter of unlocking the magic. While searching for a big-rig, CB radio chatter, smokey-avoiding pleasure ride I came across this number sitting quietly at the back. A truck film from the 50s, set in Britain! It’s an English trucker film! Yes Please!
What we have is a hauling company that does the most obviously dangerous thing, like Crossfit for hauling material. They try to do as many reps in as short a time as possible, which is a recipe for disaster. Add to that the fact that the drivers are competing with one another for gold prizes (or one actually), and yeah you’re going to be throwing up your fish oil capsules.
It’s a black and white film, making it extra dramatic, with a bit of tricky sped up camera work to impress us with the risky behavior undertaken by our trucker desperadoes. Better pay for faster hauls! Does the company overlook licenses and background checks to place wilder men behind the wheels? Sure!
Enter Tom (Stanley Baker – looking a bit like Morrissey’s dad), an ex-con just looking to make an honest buck (a bit of his shady history includes a driving accident that ruined his brother’s legs and alienated him from his mom permanently) on a team largely pitted against one another. On the crew is one Herbert Lom (Herbert Lom! Forever Inspector Cluoseau’s boss) playing a displaced Italian driver (another of those accent appropriations!), and a young Sean Connery! Most of our hero Tom’s troubles come from Red (Patrick McGoohan!), a very aggressive competitor who immediately manages to unleash Tom’s darker spirits. They use their trucks to shove one another off the road and out of the way of the quarry chutes. It isn’t long before Tom is dealing with various levels of sabotage resulting in dangerous and expensive offenses.
Later we find out that the company is unnecessarily pushing the fellows to endanger themselves because they have income for more drivers, which the bosses are pocketing. So really, once again, it’s capitalism that is causing all the blue-collar mayhem. Before long Tom is the top of the hauls list, just one more successful run and he’s the star of the show, but Lom’s Gino thinks they should switch rigs, and surprise their adversaries. Will the ruse work? Will the drama escalate to a fever pitch? Will trucks blow up? Will lovely Lucy (the looker, who just happens to be single and have a thing for Tom, working in the company office) land her man? Well I won’t give it all away but it’s a pretty impressive ride!
This one hauls for free on Prime and frankly might be one of the best of the trucker films I’ve seen in recent years despite the lack of many requisite trucker movie gears. How about that?