Sam Peckinpah’s Convoy stars Kris Kristofferson as trucker “Rubber Duck” who with a group of struggling truckers (who stay in touch by CB), run into a situation with Lyle Wallace (Ernest Borgnine) a blackmailing traffic cop who pursues him ever more frantically through several states after he fails to submit to the phony speed trap he had set up. As news of the truck convoy spreads, other unexpected truckers join the convoy, and the now-gigantic illegal protest becomes the subject of national news reports, leading to a high octane confrontation between them and the law.
Convoy is a strange film in Peckinpah’s resume, he apparently was having a lot of trouble at the time, Kristofferson almost walked away numerous times and it has been rumoured that his friend and actor James Coburn directed a lot of the movie. Its also definitely a movie of its time, CB’S were the craze and this definitely tapped into that in a not so subtle way. Some of the director’s trademarks are here, the slow-motion action in particular, and the performances are mostly good, Kristofferson has great screen charisma and Borgnine always plays a good villain, even if over the top at times. Ali MacGraw is really just there as something nice to look at and adds nothing to the story at all.
The Blu ray released by Studio Canal has a very good 1080p transfer, colours are bold, the picture is clean and free from any dirt or scratches and it is a very solid transfer. Audio is fine too, you are given a choice of original English or French, and German dubbed tracks in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Nothing wrong here, the track is clear, concise and has great dynamic range.
Extras are mostly short pieces but interesting, you have :
- Passion & Poetry – Sam Trucker Movie. the footage in this excellent featurette is from Mike Siegel’s longer documentary film Passion and Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah. Included are various interviews with Kris Kristofferson, Ernest Borgnine, Ali MacGraw, EMI executive Michael Deeley, and Peckinpah biographer Garner Simmons.
- Promoting Convoy – posters, lobby cards, promo stills, CD jackets, magazine covers, and photographs from the U.S., Germany, Hungary, Finland, England, France, Italy, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Australia, Thailand, and Japan.
- Three Lost Scenes – a collection of rare production stills with original text descriptions from the shooting script. These stills are from scenes that did not make it into Sam Peckinpah’s final version of Convoy. Very interesting.
- In-Jokes, Friends, Cameos – footage and stills highlighting various cameo performances by members of Sam Peckinpah’s friends and crew.
- Trucker Notes from Norway – Anders Lofaldli, a huge Convoy fan from Norway, explains why the film has achieved cult status in Scandinavia. Very odd.
- Trailers, TVand Radio Spots.
Not a bad looking package and a very good transfer. It also states full uncut version. Do not know what was missing from previous releases. If you’re a fan then its recommended.
FILM: 5 PICTURE: 8 SOUND: 7 EXTRAS: 6