Convoy / B2 / style A / Japan

05.04.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
Convoy
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young, Madge Sinclair, Franklyn Ajaye, Brian Davies, Seymour Cassel, Cassie Yates, Walter Kelley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Drama | Western
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Convoy was legendary American director Sam Peckinpah‘s penultimate film and his most commercially successful, despite it being critically mauled. It was made at the height of the craze for CB Radio/trucking films, which included the likes of Smokey and the Bandit and the TV series Movin’ On. The film’s title comes from the hit country and western novelty song of the same name by C.W. McCall and Chip Davis that was released in 1975. The song appears during the opening and intermittently during the film, with the latter version being reworked especially for the production.

It’s fair to say that the film is light on plot but Kris Kristofferson stars as long-distance trucker Martin ‘Rubber Duck’ Penwald who ends up leading the titular line of trucks across several states. Following an diner-based altercation with three police officers, including Duck’s long-term nemesis Sheriff “Dirty Lyle” Wallace (a great performance by Ernest Borgnine), a group of truckers head for the Arizona state line to escape prosecution. Lyle ups the stakes and pursues them into New Mexico whilst the convoy continues to grow. The authorities are determined to stop the truckers and Lyle uses the life of a fellow trucker to lure Duck into a trap from which it seems there’ll be no escape.

As had become standard for Peckinpah productions, the film finished over schedule and massively over budget, causing the director to be taken off post-production of the film. Studio staff worked with an editor to trim down a first cut that was over three hours long. It doesn’t particularly feel like a Peckinpah film (compared to the likes of The Wild Bunch, say) but there are certainly some well done scenes and the choices of location are excellent. Some of the editing choices aren’t great, however, with the slow-motion diner brawl being particularly excruciating to watch today. By this point in his career the director’s addiction to alcohol and drugs had become so profound that it would be another five years before he would work again.

This Japanese B2, one of two posters printed for the release in the country, features an image of the titular line of trucks, along with four head shots of what the distributors clearly decided were the key cast members.

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