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4 of the Most Epic Trucking Movies of All Time

The American big rig trucking industry has been portrayed by popular culture for years as the realm of the cowboy, the loner, and the maverick. The romance and character of the open road are no better represented than in the iconic film productions and movies depicting the lifestyle. The fascination for the culture peaked in the 1970s and has waned since but the classics, as well as newer productions, continue to be cult favorites.

Duel

One of Steven Spielberg's earlier masterpieces finds a mild-mannered businessman played by Dennis Weaver being pursued by the psychotic driver of a 1960 Peterbilt truck. The long, harrowing California mountain road sets the scene for an intense journey sure to scare even the most tenacious driver. It will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat.

The anonymous big rig driver and the hapless businessman embark on a battle of wits in this classic trucking movie meant to invoke a menacing terror. Duel remains a cult classic among trucking enthusiasts and truckers to this day.

Convoy

Convoy is the ultimate trucking rebel movie initially inspired by a three-year-old country-western song by C.W. McCall. It stars old Hollywood favorites including Kris Kristofferson as Rubber Duck Penwald and Ernest Borgnine as Sheriff Cottonmouth Wallace. Though the film was received with mixed reviews, it continues to be a big rig movie icon.

The plot revolves around an abusive sheriff (Borgnine) who messes with the wrong guy. Truckers join Rubber Duck in his vendetta against the sheriff by forming a mile-long convoy. The movie is hoot capturing the character of spirit and rebellion of the era.

White Line Fever

White Line Fever is set in 1970's Arizona. It focuses on Air Force veteran, Carroll Jo Hummer, who decides to become an independent long-haul truck driver when he returns home from his service in Vietnam. Carrol is played convincingly by a young and serious Jan-Michael Vincent. He soon discovers the industry has been taken over by corrupt racketeers.

The movie follows Hummer's fight to find legitimate work and battle the nefarious forces he has encountered. There are plenty of wild truck chases in this fun, action-packed film sure to satisfy any fan of blue-collar Americana. It's a rollicking tribute to the truck driving community.

Smokey and the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit is a spirited romp into slapstick kitsch yet it remains a movie treat that seems to never grow old. The story involves the then illegal transport of Coors beer from Texas to points east of the Mississippi. The job is recklessly taken on by truck drivers Bandit (played by an unflappable Burt Reynolds) and his sidekick Cledus. Hot in pursuit is Sheriff Buford T. Justice portrayed perfectly by Jackie Gleason.

The whole movie is a hilarious ride with a devil-may-care attitude and non-stop action. The cult classic familiarized viewers with the language of the CB radio culture using a variety of comedic twists and turns to entertain. It may have launched many a trucking career in the 1970s. 

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