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Convoy
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Reviews & Ratings for
Convoy More at IMDbPro »

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41 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good trucker flick

8/10
Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnaby.rudge@hotmail.co.uk) from Todmorden, England
2 December 2002

Convoy is the shallowest of Sam Peckinpah's films, but by no means the worst. It contains some oddball characters and a number of memorable sequences, and alternately funny and thought-provoking dialogue. It also features one of the very best Ernest Borgnine performances that I can remember - not bad for a man who won an Oscar for Marty!

The story traces the fortunes of some truckers, led by "Rubber Duck" (Kris Kristofferson), as they drive through the states of New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. They are pursued by the law, and gradually more and more truckers join on at the back of the line until they have literally hundreds of lorries, all roaring along the highways in protest of the prejudicial treatment they receive from the cops.

Kristofferson is supremely enigmatic as the leader of the pack. Ali MacGraw is a bit of a bore as his female companion. As mentioned before, the real star is Borgnine, mean and menacing, funny and cruel as the cop who dedicates his life to victimising truck drivers. For such a shallow film, it looks and sounds beautiful. Even the car chase through the sand is poetic. I can't explain what's good about this picture. It sounds dull and pointless, yet to watch it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Convoy is a contradiction of itself.... plotless, pointless, thinly plotted, and yet still (somehow) a top notch film!

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39 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

70s American Epic

9/10
Author: Leadfoot_vts from Pécs, Hungary
14 August 2004

Great film! This was one of the few American films that got broadcasted on TV here in Hungary in the late 80s socialist era. I was about 8 then, and I remember, every kid played with Matchbox trucks and wanted to be a trucker...

But only now do I understand the essence of it... I think, this movie is the 70s epic of America - a kind of 'On the road put to film'. It deeply revolts against the conformism of the late 70s. After the 60s the rebellion of the "beat generation" slowly expired giving way to the "disco age". I think, Convoy brings back some of the finest ideas and emotions of the 60s, depicting numerous social-political-economic problems of the 70s...

Also, it has an even more important message: it is the revolt of the average citizen, or the working man against the political elite. They say, they have our - the people's - well being on our minds. And we might be dull enough to believe them... We work hard, while they stuff their own pockets with our money and have nothing on their minds but doing that and ways of being able to maintain their power. I think, that is an ever-present problem in each and every country, no matter rich or poor, democratic or dictatorical. So the true message of Convoy is: REAL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

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28 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

I Watched The Filming Of Convoy

Author: foggydayinscotland from United States
15 July 2005

It was June of 1977, and I was twelve years old. I was visiting my grandparents in Las Vegas, NM at the time, when I heard that they were filming a movie in town. Nothing new... Las Vegas has been in it's fair share of movies having been made. A great back-drop for old westerns. This was a contemporary movie that was very timely, with the whole CB radio fad happening and Smoky and The Bandit having just made a killing at the box office. Not to mention, Kris Kristofferson was at this point very much a sex symbol from his movie " A Star Is Born" having just been released.

Director Sam Peckinpah was in town and was picking out extras to sit in the Old Town Plaza near the gazebo in downtown Las Vegas. I was one of the them. The day was torrid hot, and Mr. Peckinpah didn't seem to be in the best of moods. With many curse words being thrown around and a few temper tantrums to boot (director and cast) we extras endured the heat and the anger... to get a shot to be in this movie. Of course I ended up on the cutting room floor minus a crowd scene or two, but it was such a thrill for a twelve year old girl.

The movie debuted in July of 1978, a year later, and by then, a lot of the CB radio hype had died down and the movie tanked at the box office. It was later shown on television it seemed every few months in the 1980's, almost gaining a cult following.

The movie is clearly dated, at times over the top macho, but it has a good cast, some great scenery and if for pop culture only... it's a lot of fun.

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31 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

A Western...but with Trucks

8/10
Author: imulysses from Canada
1 March 2006

CONVOY, even after almost 30 years since it was released, remains was it was, an iconic American film by an iconic American director. This movie,which is not short on American archetypes, from Ernest Bornine's vile redneck sheriff "Dirty Lyle," to Kris Kristofferson's independence-loving "Rubber Duck," to Ali MacGraw's free-spirited "Melissa," is really an old-fashioned Western, but with trucks. LOTS of trucks. Like Clint Eastwood's "man with no name" gunslinger, Kristofferson (who steals every scene with his smile and blue eyes) is a man whose sense of honour and justice compels him to act on behalf of the down-trodden; symbolized in this case by a black truck driver named "Spider Mike" (played by actor Franklyn Ajaye). But instead of guns and "pistols at dawn" Kristofferson uses a semi. But it's not "justice" he's after, for in the world of CONVOY "justice" (per se) doesn't really exist. That's what makes this film so iconic. If it was about "justice" this movie would have been a court drama, with the Rubber Duck hiring a lawyer, going to court, and getting Dirty Lyle tossed in jail for his arrogance and abuse of power. Nor is it about mere revenge, for throughout the movie Kristofferson's character never truly reaches the point where he simply wants to hurt and destroy his nemesis. It's rather about personal honour and how we, as individuals, define it. Spider Mike, therefore, becomes not so much the victim of racism (which is repeatedly emphasized by the other characters calling him "boy") but of a system that has allowed dishonourable people (in positions of power) to abuse that power at will. Into this world comes the "legendary" Rubber Duck, the "last of the independents," who alone is willing to strike a blow for the diminished honour of another man, while seeking no reward for himself. This is the essence of the American Western and why it works so well in CONVOY. Take away the trucks, put on some cowboy boots and a six-shooter, and you have before you any number of Westerns whose sole premise is that one man with personal integrity and honour can make a real difference in the corrupt world in which he lives. The difference in this case is that Kristofferson doesn't just "clean up this one horse town" he, with the aid of his "posse" of like-minded truckers (Burt Young does a terrific job as his side-kick "Pig Pen"), totally demolishes it. And like those great Westerns, only then can Rubber Duck find solace for his spirit; which he does without compromising either his own values or his personal integrity This is the essence of honour itself and what really makes this movie work. Even, now, after almost 30 years, one cannot help but stand and cheer as Rubber Duck and company take on the forces arrayed against them as the movie reaches its climax. And then stand up cheer again during the closing dnouement. CONVOY, therefore, isn't about "America," or even about being an American, it IS America; the America of myth and folklore that people, even now, still believe in and which the great Westerns of old have done so much to popularize. Because of that and because director Sam Peckinpah does it with such style and grace, this iconic movie, by an iconic director, deserves a place on the shelf of every lover of good solid entertainment

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31 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Goodbye Ali-umbus

7/10
Author: aimless-46 from Kentucky
3 April 2005

The "Smokey and the Bandit" target audience never knew what hit them when they went to see "Convoy". Used to a diet of direct-to-drive-in films they had no conception of what could happen when Hollywood threw big bucks and a competent (if distracted) director at the genre. What they got was something that movie historians are still trying to classify. A movie based on a CB radio song that morphed into a poetic homage to machinery; where trucks are turned into mythological monsters and filmed cruising through the heat-radiating desert to a score of classical music.

Why Sam Peckinpah elected to take on this project has really never been explained, although that decision certainly supports those tales of substance abuse, and the final cut is bizarre enough to also fit that explanation. It is an amazing film as it wobbles between self-parody and self-importance to a degree never seen before and never seen again until "Apocalypse Now". I'm not sure how much attention and interest Peckinpah actually showed toward the making of "Convoy". It has the disjointed feel of multiple directors or of a Director of Photography filling in many times when Sam was not motivated to make an appearance on the set.

Kris Kristofferson is fine as trucker "Rubber Duck" although Earnest Borgnine pretty much steals the whole thing.

But "Convoy's real claim to fame is as the film where Ali MacGraw's career spectacularly crashed and burned. She did not just fade away but shattered into a million pieces. MacGraw got into acting in her late twenties but looked young enough to be believable as a college-age girl in her first two starring roles; the excellent "Goodbye Columbus" and the pathetic but hugely popular "Love Story". Her age worked to her advantage as her two characters (particularly "Goodbye's" Brenda) came off as poised, stylish, classy and smart. She picked up a huge following of male viewers who would have bought tickets to anything she was in and she was generally inoffensive to female viewers. She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, started fashion crazes, and made the cover of Time magazine. She also picked up the head of Paramount Studios (Robert Evans) as a husband dedicated to advancing her acting career. It was a done deal that she would get the lead in "Chinatown", a role that would fit her rather limited range (poised, classy, stylish). Her only obstacle was managing the transition to middle age in a way that her smitten fans could accept.

Unfortunately she dumped Evans for a short marriage (5 years) to Steve McQueen. Just how badly her image and career were managed after she left Evans is illustrated by her bad haircut in "Convoy". Just glance at the promotional poster and you may be able to hear the sounds of a million bubbles bursting in the minds of her male fans. The idea of "Brenda" playing a truck stop mama with short curly hair would have made it too painful to even contemplate seeing this movie. Her fan base literally melted away with the start of the film's promotion campaign. They never returned, the illusion had died. Ironically had they actually seen her horrible performance in "Convoy" they might have felt better, as the performance is so absurd it achieves a sort of surreal quality. But a couple years later they discovered replacement Jennifer Beals and moved on.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Convoy: Potential unused

5/10
Author: latsblaster from Örebro, Sweden
24 March 2004

Uneven but at times entertaining Peckinpah film. It doesn't feel as nasty today as it maybe did in the late 1970´s.

Kris Kristofferson is cool in his role but it doesn't hold the film together enough.

"Convoy" is made in typical Peckinpah style but it doesn't seem to match that good in this case. The slow-motion fist fight on the bar is not astonishing.

Even if it is based on a song, the story seem to work, but there should have been some changes and maybe the scriptwriter should have add something more.

Rating: 5 of 10.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Their all following you! No they ain't..I'm just in front of them.

7/10
Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
27 April 2005

A convoy of angry and enraged truckers are rolling down the desert highways of Arizona New Mexico and Texas led by Martin Penwald (Kris Kistofferson) using the CB-handle "Rubber Duck". The truckers had enough of the corrupt highway cops who shake them down and threaten to impound their rigs. Leaving the truckers without any means of financial support. As well as the ridicules 55 MPH speed limit on the highways that cuts into their time and earnings and last but not least the sky-rocketing gas prices.

After the Rubber Duck and two of his trucker pals Love Machine & Spider Mike,Burt Young & Franklyn Ajaye, were entrapped by the nasty and vindictive local Sheriff Lyle Wallace, Earnest Borgnine,for illegally using the trucker CB-handle name Cottonmouth. Their shaken down by the "lawman" for $70.00 each in order to avoid having their trucks impounded and them being thrown behind bars.

The three later Going to the local truck stop to celebrate the Rubber Ducks birthday and have a few drinks are again confronted by the lawman. Sheriff Wallace, still not satisfied with pushing the truckers around, comes snooping around the area to make a few more bucks off the abused haulers. Wallace picks on poor Spider Mike accusing him of loitering and is about to throw him in jail. Spiker Mike pleads to the unfeeling Wallace that his wife is about to give birth and to please leave him alone which doesn't move the sheriff at all. But a straight right to his jaw, by Spider Mike, does make him move right on the butt of his pants. In a bar brawl with the truckers, who come to the aid of Spider Mike Love Machine and the Rubber Duck, Wallace and two of his deputies are knocked out cold and handcuffed as the three truckers together with the Rubber Duck's new found squeeze the plucky and outspoken Melissa (Ali MacGraw), a wedding photographer who's car broke down, then take off and go back on the road again with the entire Arizona Highway Patrol on their tail.

Chased by the crazy Sheriff Wallace, who commandeered a car from a young couple smoking and shearing a joint. the Rubber Duck Love Machine & Spider Mike get the full support from some very expected and unexpected persons that during the remainder of the film has them on the front pages of the news as well as getting the ear of the local governors senators and even the President of the United States himself.

There's strength in numbers is the theme of "Convoy" with the Rubber Duck & friends making a private affair into a public happening. This by drawing attention to the plight of him and his fellow truckers and how their short-changed and ill-treated by everyone down the line, police politicians and big oil, as they try to do their.

The giant convoy of truckers following the Rubber Duck open the eyes of the nation and puts corrupt low-lives like Sheriff Wallace on the front pages. All that showed what these hard working and dedicated men, the truckers, have to put up with every day and night that their on the road. In the end they get the support and respect from the public, as well as the politicians, that they so richly deserve. When the clueless and almost brain-dead politicians see the endless line of the trucker convoy lead by the Rubber Duck they not only stand up and listen but they deliver as well.

One of director Sam Peckinpah's most underrated films that, as far as I could see, had no one killed in it. Even though the amount of violence and explosions were equaled to Peckinpah's famous blood-splattering 1969 classic "The Wild Bunch".

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Double Order of Cheesy FUN!!!

7/10
Author: Gavno (quixote2@ix.netcom.com) from Mad City, Wisconsin
8 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The angry, rebellious mood of the post Watergate 1970s, the CB radio craze, and the romanticized image of Truckers as direct descendants of the American cowboy were made to order for the rebellious gonzo filmmakers out there who were looking for something new to hang their perceptual hats on. They'd made it big with the Hollywood Money Machine by now, already having explored (and maybe exploited) illegal drugs and the free floating feeling of youthful rebellion that had been simmering since the early '50s (EASY RIDER), the country's ongoing cultural and philosophical clash between young and old (BILLY JACK), and even our changing perceptions of the concepts of war and patriotism (THE DEERHUNTER and COMING HOME).

Enter Sam Peckinpah, one of the wildest of the "action" (read that as "pointless violence just for the hell of it") filmmakers, armed with a fairly big budget, the incredibly sexy, laid back, anti-establishment and intelligent box office draw of Kris Kristophersen, and the considerable comedic talents of Ernie Borgnine. The only thing missing in this was the psychotic, druggie craziness and inspired insanity of Dennis Hopper. The results of the mix were predictable and inevitable.

No script to speak of; just the lyrics of a pop song by C. W. McCall about a bunch of POed, runaway truckers armed with CB radios and a hatred of the then new 55 MPH national speed limit. Throw in a lot of high speed chases and crashes involving loaded 18 wheelers, staged by a director who had a long and distinguished reputation in Hollywood as a loose cannon. The final product was inspired escapist fantasy that was almost guaranteed to produce box office receipts from teenagers from coast to coast.

The plot of the film (if you can call it that) is rather pointless and murky; it is simply the story of a brawl at a truck stop that escalated into a pseudo social movement. One character, a trucker whose CB "handle" is Big Nasty, inadvertently sums up the entire point of CONVOY when he is asked why he's joined the trucker protest. "I'm just here because I like kicking ass!" was his reply. And so it is, as simple as that... the film is all about free form anarchy and flipping The Bird to the established social and political order, staged by a bunch of unconventional rebels who were perceived as tough enough and powerful enough to make their rebellion stick. Despite the fact that the film has no point and doesn't seem to know where it's going, it was just what the temper of the times demanded, and without a doubt it's just a whole lot of FUN! Trucks and CB radios were a major staple of Hollywood then... along with CONVOY there were other efforts, some of them more sophisticated and structured, like Burt Reynold's classic of the genre SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT that used essentially the CONVOY formula.

Not every movie has a higher calling, expressing the producer's vision of some great truth. Some are trashy and cheesy, but they still garner a place as cult classics, and as one of those "guilty pleasures" movies that we drag out from time to time just for pure enjoyment. CONVOY is one of them... it offers the pure (tho vicarious) thrill of seeing a squad car that's chasing you get crushed between two semis. It warms the soul with a vision of the Little Guy successfully fighting back against the system that uses him up and tosses him into the trash heap... even tho in Peckinpah's version of that vision we're not really sure of exactly what it is that the Little Guy is fighting against, or why he's fighting.

As pure entertainment, I have to give CONVOY a Thumbs Up.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining Peckinpah movie about some protesting truckers led by an independent rebel drive through Southwest

6/10
Author: ma-cortes
2 July 2011

A rebel trucker (Kris Kristofferson) leads protesting his colleagues on a trek throughout Southwest until Mexico .Other truckers join their convoy as a show of support against brutality and other complaints . Sheriff Wallace (Ernest Borgnine)rallies other law enforcement officers throughout the southwest, they who soon aware that stopping Duck, the face of the now highly public standoff, is not as easy as shooting him and the truck due to his highly explosive cargo . Truckers (Burt Young , Magde Sinclair as Widow woman, among others) on a tri-state protest over police brutality ,form a mile long "convoy" in support of Duck's vengeance with the abusive sheriff . Based on the country song , a real hit , of same title by C.W. McCall.

An enjoyable film , ¨ Peckinpah's Convoy ¨results to be an elegiac perspective at the world of the truckers . Taut excitement throughout, beautifully photographed and with spectacular trucks scenes and some images filmed in slow moving. An uneven and silly screenplay by Bill L Norton , subsequently turned to mediocre director . Vibrant and brilliant all star cast with acceptable performances from Burt Young , Seymour Cassel , Cassie Yates , among others. Kris Kristofferson turns in a nice acting as a drifting independent trucker nicknamed ¨Duck¨ who is searching freedom in a changing world , he and Ali MacGraw strike real sparks. Ernest Borgnine is particularly fine as the veteran patrolman .Peckinpah's slow-motion camera , his usual trademark,is put to particularly nice utilization shooting the balletic movement of fights , at once more splendidly and awe-inspiring than any gun battle. Furthermore, it contains a country music emotive score by Chip Davis . Glimmer and colorful cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr ,son of another great cameraman Harry Stradling Sr . Splendidly filmed in Albuquerque,Cerrillos, New Mexico,Cuba, New Mexico,Needles, California ,New Mexico State Fair Grounds ,Central & Louisanna Avenues, Albuquerque,White Sands National Monument, and Alamogordo, New Mexico. An agreeable country-trucker-Western with passable interpretations and exciting trucks footage including some slow-moving images and a much moving , professionally made by the famous director Sam Peckinpah . Sam was a real creator and author of masterpieces as ¨Cross of Iron¨,¨The ballad of Cable Hogue¨, ¨Wild bunch¨ , ¨Major Dundee¨ . ¨Convoy¨ though inferior film is lovely realized by Sam Peckinpah in his punchy directorial style .

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Come on back Rubber Duck.

7/10
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
5 October 2008

Truckers, led by Rubber Duck are fed up of being harassed by vindictive traffic cop Lyle Wallace. After a fight breaks out between the truckers and the police {started by Wallace's bullying tactics} the truckers flee towards New Mexico. What starts out as a few trucks turns into a giant convoy and soon the chase becomes a media event and a political tool for votes.

Based on the country song of same title by C.W. McCall, and directed by Sam Peckinpah, Convoy became, surprisingly to most in the industry, a hugely popular film. Containing no plot of any substance, it does however have an enormous sense of fun and features some nice Peckinpah flourishes. Huge trucks tearing across the landscape surprisingly makes for easy on the eye cinema, dust tracks framed in poetic style, slow motion car crashes and, erm, chickens falling from a coop, in fact lots of crash bang and wallop to entertain. Outside of that, what heart there is in the piece is to be found in the free spirited nature of our truckers, especially Rubber Duck who becomes something of a hero to anyone who uses the road. Kris Kristofferson plays Rubber Duck and it's a great bit of casting, Ernest Borgnine suitably steps into Sheriff Wallace's big trousers and Burt Young is dead on entertaining as Pig Pen. Sadly this is yet another film that proves Ali MacGraw just couldn't act, tho in her defence here the character Melissa, is poor and totally pointless.

Convoy is the sort of film that i personally understand if folk hate it and think it has no merits whatsoever, but much like Smokey And The Bandit from the previous year, vehicles going fast and creating mayhem makes for a whole lot of fun to be taken with a pinch of cheek. 7/10

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