In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
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
This was one of Dennis Weaver's first film roles after he left Gunsmoke (1955). In one scene of the movie, Weaver's character stops for gas at a filling station. As he leaves the station in his car, the station worker is seen walking away with a stiff-legged walk like Weaver's "Gunsmoke" character, Chester Goode. See more »
When Mann first enters the service station in Acton, his car is covered in shadow, indicating the sun is below the building to the right of his car. In the next shot the sun appears overhead as his car is covered in sunlight. See more »
[radio playing, driving down the road, approaches the truck]
[David coughs, coughs again]
Talk about pollution.
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A scene plays out over the credits where David Mann sits on the edge of the cliff throwing stones. See more »
Another new scene, where Weaver stops at a gas station and phones his wife, was written by producer George Eckstein to inflate the running time to the requested 90 minutes. This was reportedly done against Spielberg's wishes. 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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