Yes, this is the infamous first film directed by the great Steven Spielberg.

The one with Dennis Weaver busting ass to get home to his annoying bitch wife, who likes to dust the house while wearing a dress the way they did on sit-coms in the 60s.

All this while being relentlessly chased and/or blocked (depending) by a huge friggin’ Peterbilt truck with the word “Explosive” on the back. (That word pretty much sums up the movie.)

“Hey, dude! Blow the air horn!” (Image via Kieron Moore.)

I gotta give props to whoever (probably Spielberg, maybe) came up with the opening credits sequence. From the opening shot, it’s as if we’re looking at the world not from Dennis Weaver’s point of view, but the car’s. The angle is low, as if viewing the road from bumper level. Plus the tunnels with the long string of lights and garish yellow credits demonstrate an eye for an arresting image.

Basically, we see this guy (Dennis Weaver, in case you forgot) pass the truck with no problem, but the truck driver responds like it’s some kind of insult to his manhood. A response that seems to establish from the get-go the movie’s theme. Toxic masculinity vs. itself. Or the not-so-silent majority. Or something.

Here’s something else about the movie. It’s SO very 70s. And has almost everything I hate about the 70s in it. Its saving grace on that note is that the soundtrack isn’t disco.

During the first part of the movie (the “Ordinary World” set up), we see Dennis listen to some “talk radio” joker taking a call from a guy who starts whining about how he “lost his position as head of a household,” because his horrible wife is the breadwinner and he stays home and cleans house and takes care of the kids, wah, wah, wah. (You know this, if you’ve listened to the man cut-off mid-rant after the credits ran up there. Above here.)

“I’m just a regular guy, trying to make it home to my goddamn wife.” (Image via Kieron Moore.)

Well, that just gives old Dennis a chuckle. Until, of course, he stops at a gas station to gas up and phone home. His wife answers, waving a dust rag around, while playing Barbara Billingsley in Leave it to Beaver (except nowhere near as nice). They talk at each other for what seems like forever, but is probably just half an hour or so (okay, five minutes, maybe), both of them sounding like total assholes.

“And you can forget about me stopping for milk.” (Image via Imgur.)

Okay, so it was the 70s. Great times, huh? Celebrate good times!

Amid all the weird gender politics, we have this anonymous truck driver who seems outright obsessed beyond words with making Dennis Weaver’s life hell.

More to come! :)

PS: I should mention that the movie was adapted from a short story of the same name by Richard Matheson. Published in Playboy. What a shock, right? :)

PPS: Review originally published here! :) Strikeouts and all.



Debbi Mack
Movie Lover’s Club

New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website: