All That's Trucking

Scene-Stealing Trucks in Movies

Blog commentary by Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

February 2, 2018

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It's Oscar season, and our friends at Today's Trucking recently put together a list of "Reel Wheels: 50 scene-stealing trucks in the movies."

Very few people (at least those of us old enough to remember Burt Reynolds with hair) think of trucking and movies without recalling Smokey and the Bandit, from 1977. With the cops in pursuit, Bandit and his truck drivin' pal hauling a load of contraband beer ask a convoy of trucks to run interference. Because he’s got a long way to go, and a short time to get there. (Bet you're humming that theme song now.)

But here are my personal top five movies from John Law's list where trucks play a lesser role:

The Matrix Reloaded (2003) – Fans may forever dismiss this sequel, but there’s no denying the visual thrill of the (almost) climactic freeway chase which culminates with Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) trading kung fu moves with one of the agents atop a speeding tractor-trailer. If only the movie ended there.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – The fourth film in the epic series is essentially one long truck sequence, with Max (Tom Hardy) and new partner Furiosa (Charlize Theron) sharing time behind the wheel. You’re exhausted by the time of the climactic race back to the Citadel, but director George Miller somehow manages to crank up the tension in a whirlwind of ingenious stunts and breathless pacing.

Breakdown (1997) – Near the end of this terrific ’90s thriller, Kurt Russell battles the slimy trucker (J.T. Walsh) who kidnapped his wife on board a rig hanging perilously over a bridge. When the fall doesn’t kill our bad guy, the truck finishes the job.

Live Free or Die Hard (2007) – If you’re going to go completely over-the-top with your Die Hard, you might as well have a truck vs. fighter jet scene on the freeway. Of course, Bruce Willis ends up on top of the plane before it’s over.

Logan (2017) – In between the action and brutal violence, the final go-round with Wolverine for Hugh Jackman also offered an intriguing peak into the future with autonomous trucks. In this case, one runs a family’s horse trailer off the road. Still some bugs to work out.

Head over to Today's Trucking for the full "reel wheels" list.


  1. 1. MC [ February 09, 2018 @ 05:10AM ]

    How about "Big Trouble in Little China"? The movie's backstory is about Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) getting back his stolen Freightliner (The Pork Chop Express) from a Chinatown organized crime gang. The story evolves into a rescue mission diving into ancient magic, a cursed king, and battling demigods. It is a fun movie to watch, and the special effects are not bad for a 30 year-old movie.

  2. 2. Jerry Kinyon [ February 13, 2018 @ 01:44PM ]

    You have forgotten the Western Star truck that turns into Optimus Prime in the Transformer series, and I will second the Pork Chop Express in Big Trouble in Little China.


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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

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All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


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