CONVOY - Andrews Manor, Beacon Mall 4, Beltway Plaza, Capital Plaza, McLean Cinema, Turnpike, Vienna, Tenley Circle, Rockville Mall 2, Wheaton Plaza 3.
In what may be an all-time cine-literary low, "Convoy" is a film based on a song. Not on a novel, not on a play, not on an idea, but on a song. The song, about truckers who, communicating with one another through Citizens Band radio, form a convey to defy the police, was a hit.
All that was necessary to make it into a hit movie, the reasoning no doubt went, was to add a plot. However, the people who made the film neglected to do this.
They more or less supplied a character to go with the song's C.B. handle, "Rubber Duck," and Kris Kristofferson plays this role, pale blue eyes staring at the road ahead, like a cowboy staring out over his cigarette smoke. They supplied a woman, played by Ali MacGraw - a photo-journalist, of course. There they both are, driving along the same highway, she in a Jaguar, he in his truck, Ernest Borgnine as a sheriff-villian lurking along the way - and what happens then is:
Fights, fast driving, and such psychologically loaded dialogue as "I'm running for my life," and "The only reason they're following me is they've got nothing else."
But there is no plot. We never know why the girl sells her sports car on impulse and decides to hitch-hike instead, why the truckers are dissatisfied or if they are, why they are turned into folk heroes, why they take no precautions about broadcasting messages they know are picked up by the police, or what this is all about.
But there is this little tune you can take home with you.