Joe 'Tom' Yateley is an ex-convict. Trying to leave his past behind, he decides to start working for the Hawlett Trucking company, which transports gravel. It's an aggressive company, where speed is everything. Doing too few runs in a day? You're out. Red is the most experienced trucker; he can do 18 runs in a day. Tom soon makes friends with Lucy, the secretary, and Gino, a driver. But the record of Red intrigues him and he wants to break it. Gino advises against it, but he helps Tom when he wants to go through with it. Soon trouble begins when Red and the other drivers form a united front against Tom. Just when Tom has enough and decides to pack his bags, Lucy tells him Gino had a terrible accident. She also tells about the corruption of Hawlett Trucking. Written by
Arnoud Tiele (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This movie shows us a side of the English that most Americans are unfamiliar with. Down, dirty, gritty, and nasty. We see these traits more in ourselves than in our friends across the pond.
As an old trucker, I was practically hypnotized by this movie. If I were still driving it would give me nightmares. A trucking crew, at odds with themselves as well as the owner, practically cut each others throats to become top driver. It is a daily grind consisting of hauling loads of gravel back and forth from a gravel pit to a construction site, rolling over each other as well as everyone else on the road in the process.
It isn't the story that makes this film - it's the cast, action, and direction - in any order you like. Stanley Baker plays the new guy. An ex-con trying to make a new start. Patrick McGoohan plays his antagonist in a truly evil fashion. I thought back and cannot remember seeing Patrick McGoohan in any standout role other than a Columbo re-run. But he really hit the mark here. Probably before he became convinced he was the world's greatest actor. The rest would fill out the Rank Organisation's register. Gordon Jackson (from The Great Escape), Herbert Lom (from the Pink Panther series) as an Italian!, and Sean Connery (pre James Bond) with real hair!
I found myself watching this movie with my mouth open and wondering WHERE WERE THE COPS!
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