Steven Spielberg (1971)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Made for US television by a 20-something Steven Spielberg, this thriller proved such a hit that it enjoyed a theatrical release in Europe and launched the young director's career in movies. The pitch is simplicity itself: businessman Dennis Weaver in his red Plymouth Valiant is terrorised by an anonymously driven truck on a stretch of Californian desert highway. Shot on a budget in 13 days, there's barely any dialogue - it's all palm-moistening, tyre-squealing action - but once you've seen it, you'll never forget it. Adapted by Richard Matheson from his own short story, it works as a parable about urban paranoia or as a rollercoaster thriller that never lets up. The truck itself prefigures Spielberg's shark in Jaws as a marauding screen monster with a personality of its own.


A travelling salesman forced to take a detour onto a remote stretch of road is relentlessly pursued by a giant articulated truck. Steven Spielberg made his feature-length directorial debut with this thriller, starring Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone and Lou Frizzell.

Cast & Crew

David Mann Dennis Weaver
Mrs Mann Jacqueline Scott
Cafe owner Eddie Firestone
Bus driver Lou Frizzell
Man in cafe Gene Dynarski
Lady at Snakarama Lucille Benson
Petrol station attendant Tim Herbert
Old man Charles Seel
Waitress Shirley O'Hara (2)
Truck driver Carey Loftin
Director Steven Spielberg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Paramount Film Service LtdGuidance: Contains swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray