In the 1970s, American pop culture embraced the trucker lifestyle. CB radios became the hot electronic gadget, and trucker lingo made its way into everyday life. As people’s attitudes about flight attendants seeing the world in the 1960s, there was a fascination for the open road. Hollywood could no longer ignore truck drivers’ larger-than-life personalities, and entertainment started cashing in on the exploding trend. Here are the 10 best movies about truckers:
C.W. McCall hit song by the same name tells the story of truckers joining forces against the law’s long arm. Kris Kristofferson and Ali MacGraw star in this action-comedy at the pinnacle of trucker-mania. Stuffed with CB shorthand and scenery across Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, Convoy is a snapshot of the time.
Breaker, Breaker (1977)
Before Chuck Norris made war/martial arts movies, he starred as J.D. searching for his trucker brother who’s gone missing. Chuck and the area truckers tear the town down, looking for him and the shady judge behind the disappearance. Breaker, Breaker, which means asking permission to speak on a channel, delivers classic lines and classic Chuck Norris.
Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Admit it, you’ve thought trucks have a mind of their own. Steven King wrote and directed the movie that made people afraid of trucks, as Jaws made people afraid of sharks. Emilio Estevez protects a North Carolina town after a radiation storm creates homicidal trucks. If you can suspend your disbelief for an hour and a half, Maximum Overdrive is a fun ride.
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Nobody ruled the 1907s box office quite like Burt Reynolds. The movie features an all-star cast, including Jackie Gleason, Sally Field, and Jerry Reed, exposing the underworld of moving alcohol across state lines. The leading actors’ undeniable chemistry makes Smokey and the Bandit a buddy-buddy, boy meets girl, and you can’t catch me classic.
Over the Top (1987)
Sylvester Stallone steps away from the boxing ring to take on the arm-wrestling world championships. A down-and-out father and tough hauling trucker, Lincoln Hawk, works to keep his life together in pursuit of building a relationship with his son and the arm-wrestling glory. You’ll love the bonding Sly has with David Mendenhall’s character during road trips. Over the Top is loaded with 1980s fashion, pop culture references, and vintage Sly Stallone intensity.
Steel Cowboy (1976)
James Brolin stars in a made-for-TV movie about a trucker losing it all when offered a chance to make some money hauling cattle on the black market. Get a glimpse of a young Rip Torn and super-young Melanie Griffith while James Brolin’s character hits rock bottom then turns it all around in Steel Cowboy.
Thunder Run (1986)
Set in the Cold War, Forest Tucker stars as Charlie, a truck driver trying to keep plutonium away from terrorists. Thunder Run features an 18-wheeler loaded with gadgets MacGyver would envy, explosions galore and a chase scene that vaults a rig off the ground.
Big Rig (2007)
A showcase of real truckers doing real truck driving makes this documentary a must-watch. See what happens on America’s roads with the men and women behind the industry delivering products to every city. Most truck drivers find something relatable to their experiences hauling loads. Big Rig respects truck drivers for the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices they make, often going unnoticed.
Stephen King’s fascination with trucks continues when a small Canadian town called Lunar gets overrun by driver-less trucks. With the tagline, “a thriller without breaks”, nobody is safe when trucks, taken over by a mysterious force, knock out the power grid. Trucks has everyone running for cover, watching their backs, and keeping their eyes on the road.
Black Dog (1998)
Patrick Swayze stars as an ex-con forced to haul illegal guns to save his family. Music artists turned actors Randy Travis and Meatloaf co-star in a race against the clock thriller featuring explosions and fancy truck driving. Black Dog is a bit of a throwback movie and worth the watch.
Do you have a favorite movies trucker movies? Share in the comments.
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