In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
While driving through the Arizona desert, Albuquerque based independent trucker Martin Penwald - who goes by the handle "Rubber Duck" - along with his fellow truckers "Pig Pen" and "Spider Mike", are entrapped by unscrupulous Sheriff Lyle "Cottonmouth" Wallace using a key tool of the trucker's trade, the citizens' band (CB) radio. Rubber Duck and Cottonmouth have a long, antagonistic history. When this encounter later escalates into a more physical one as Cottonmouth threatens Spider Mike, a man who just wants to get home to his pregnant wife, Rubber Duck and other the truckers involved, including Spider Mike, Pig Pen and "Widow Woman", go on the run, figuring the best thing to do being to head to New Mexico to avoid prosecution. Along for the ride is Melissa, a beautiful photographer who just wanted a ride to the airport. As news of what happened spreads over the CB airwaves, other truckers join their convoy as a show of support. Cottonmouth rallies other law enforcement officers ... Written by
Sam Peckinpah's original director's cut of Convoy which he and his long time editor Garth Craven put together in early 1978 was around 3-1/2 hours long. Closest estimated original running time is 220 minutes. According to the book "If They Move . . . Kill 'Em!: The Life and TImes of Sam Peckinpah" by David Weddle and documentary about Convoy "Passion & Poetry - Sam's Trucker Movie" (which includes old audio interview with Peckinpah in which he talks about the troubled production of the film and studio taking it away from him), Peckinpah's director's cut didn't had any musical score other than title song and one more song which played in original unedited version of famous ending scene where Rubber Duck drives his truck across the bridge towards the tank while Lyle shoots at him with machine gun causing his truck to fall into the river while its tanker explodes. The song was "Blow The Gates To Heaven" by Richard Gillis, who worked with Peckinpah on The Ballad Of Cable Hogue (1970), he wrote all songs in the film. Jerry Fielding, who composed music for lot of Peckinpah's previous films was also hired to do the score for Convoy.
After seeing Peckinpah's director's cut, EMI and their executive Michael Deeley fired him and Craven from the film and hired another editor, Graeme Clifford, to completely re-edit the film down to one hour and fifty minutes and make it more like Smokey and the Bandit (1977) since year earlier that movie was a huge hit, and they also removed Fielding from composing the score and "Blow The Gates To Heaven" song by Gillis, although this rejected song was included on his album with the same title, and "Passion & Poetry" documentary also includes edited version of the bridge scene with the song, showcasing how original scene would have look like. Peckinpah was furious after he was fired, he later went and said how the released version of the film was not Peckinpah film and how some of Ali MacGraw's best scenes were cut out, along with many others. He also said how he didn't seen the final version and how if he did, he'd probably "done violence to those involved".
Garner Simmons, author of "Peckinpah: A Portait in Montage" saw the original cut back in 1978 and he said how EMI and Clifford didn't care about the film and "cut the guts out of it". He also said that although it wasn't perfect, that first cut of Convoy was much better than final released version. See more »
After the trucks crash the jailhouse, the black Mack truck pulls out of the rubble with lots of obvious damage and dirt. The damage subsequently disappears and reappears between shots. See more »
We'd like to know, is this convoy some sort of protest demonstration? And if it is, what's its purpose?
Purpose of a convoy is to keep movin'.
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During the final credits, clips from the movie are played. These include a few brief shots which don't appear in the final film (such as the final clip of the couple in the antique car). The clips also *roughly* follow the film backwards (the first few clips are from the end of the film, and they progress back to the beginning). See more »
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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