Rubber Duck & The Cottonmouth

Kris Kristofferson in Convoy (1978)

It's been getting on for 30 years since I last watched "Convoy" and as it started the memories came flooding back. The first few notes of the theme song the immortal words of Rubber Duck over a CB and it had me feeling like a child again. Sadly that feeling quickly dissipated as "Convoy" ended up not the movie I remembered, still one which has its moments but far too often left me disappointed.

Truckers Rubber Duck (Kris Kristofferson - Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid), Pig Pen (Burt Young) and Spider Mike (Franklyn Ajaye) find themselves falling foul of Sheriff Lyle 'Cottonmouth' Wallace (Ernest Borgnine - The Prince and the Pauper) the meanest law officer on the roads. When they end up in a brawl with the Sheriff and some other cops the trio along with some other truckers decide to haul ass down to New Mexico with Cottonmouth in hot pursuit. But as their escapades reaches other truckers they also join the convoy.

Burt Young in Convoy (1978)

In a way the problem with "Convoy" is "Smokey and the Bandit" which came out in 1977 as both movies are similar with outlaws of the road being chased by cops. Except "Smokey and the Bandit" is full of laughs with whacky characters and a general sense of everyone having fun making the movie where as "Convoy" ends up short on laughs. It needs those laughs to make it work as whilst it has some drama it is not enough to sustain the entire movie.

So what this means is that in the end "Convoy" becomes a nicely shot movie with director Sam Peckinpah giving us some great visuals none more so when we have the action happening in the white sands of the desert. That is where it is better than "Smokey and the Bandit" and the use of music from a playful orchestral piece during the scene where the truckers intentionally make a dust cloud to C. W. McCall's Convoy" helps to make it enjoyable.

As for the acting well to be honest 99% of it is okay but not great. Kris Kristofferson, Burt Young and Franklyn Ajaye are solid but frankly a little forgettable as are three main truck drivers whilst Ali MacGraw is certainly attractive ends up playing an uninteresting character. In the end it is Ernest Borgnine who steals the movie because he finds the comedy in the character of Cottonmouth whilst also making him mean and vindictive.

What this all boils down to is that "Convoy" is still an entertaining movie but no where near as great as I remember it to be. Basically it is one of those movies which if you have fond memories of and have not watched in a long time keep it like that as you might end up disappointed if you watch it again.

Please support The Movie Scene by telling your friends and sharing this page:

Twitter Facebook Google LinkedIn Tumblr