Truck Turner (1974)

R | 91 mins | Drama | June 1974

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HISTORY

End credits include a “Special Thanks” to: Funky; Miller’s Outpost for Levis; and Travenol Laboratories.
       Story writer Leigh Chapman is credited onscreen under the pseudonym Jerry Wilkes, as reported in a 26 Jun 1974 DV news item, which also noted that, although Chapman wrote the initial draft of the screenplay, her work was significantly altered, prompting the writer to seek the removal of her original credit as Screenwriter and to use a pseudonym. After an arbitration, the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) ruled in Chapman’s favor.
       According to a 6 Nov 1973 HR brief, principal photography was set to begin 12 Nov 1973 in Los Angeles, CA.
       Critical reception was largely negative. In a rare positive review in the 28 Jun 1974 LAT, Kevin Thomas described Isaac Hayes’s score as “riveting” and lauded the musician-turned-actor’s performance as a great improvement from his recent acting debut in Three Tough Guys (1974, see ... More Less

End credits include a “Special Thanks” to: Funky; Miller’s Outpost for Levis; and Travenol Laboratories.
       Story writer Leigh Chapman is credited onscreen under the pseudonym Jerry Wilkes, as reported in a 26 Jun 1974 DV news item, which also noted that, although Chapman wrote the initial draft of the screenplay, her work was significantly altered, prompting the writer to seek the removal of her original credit as Screenwriter and to use a pseudonym. After an arbitration, the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) ruled in Chapman’s favor.
       According to a 6 Nov 1973 HR brief, principal photography was set to begin 12 Nov 1973 in Los Angeles, CA.
       Critical reception was largely negative. In a rare positive review in the 28 Jun 1974 LAT, Kevin Thomas described Isaac Hayes’s score as “riveting” and lauded the musician-turned-actor’s performance as a great improvement from his recent acting debut in Three Tough Guys (1974, see entry).
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Jun 1974
p. 4695.
Daily Variety
20 Nov 1973.
---
Daily Variety
3 Dec 1973.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jun 1974.
---
Daily Variety
26 Jun 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 1973
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 1973
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 1974.
---
LAHExam
27 Jun 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Jun 1974.
---
New York Times
27 Jun 1974
p. 54.
Time
22 Jul 1974.
---
Variety
20 Jun 1974
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Weintraub-Heller Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir/Unit prod mgr
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Key grip
Gaffer
Photog equip by
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Spec const
Prop master
Asst prop master
Addl prop man
Const coord asst
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus score comp and performed
Mus orch
Mus supv
Mus mixer
SOUND
Sd eff
Boom man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prods
Spec consultant
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Prod secy
Casting
Transportation
Dial dir
Prod exec
Auditor
Prod asst
Secy to the prod
Craft service
Driver
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Black Stuntman Assoc.
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1974
Premiere Information:
New York and Los Angeles openings: 26 Jun 1974
Production Date:
12 Nov--late Dec 1973 in Pittsburgh
Copyright Claimant:
American International Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 April 1974
Copyright Number:
LP44134
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Movielab
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, African-American bounty hunter “Mack Truck” Turner and his partner, Jerry, drive to a U.S. Air Force base in search of Garrity, a rapist who has skipped trial after being released on bail. When the guards do not allow them on the base, Truck drives his car through the gate and captures Garrity. After delivering him to the authorities, Truck visits Annie, his girlfriend and a petty thief who is also incarcerated. Later, at a courthouse, a lawyer named Fogarty asks Truck and Jerry to track down a pimp who has defaulted on a $30,000 bail. The pimp’s name is Richard Leroy “Gator” Johnson, and he has a violent criminal record; thus, Truck and Jerry demand more money for the job. Once Fogarty agrees to pay them $1,000 each, Truck and Jerry go to a beauty salon in search of Gator’s prostitutes. There, Truck speaks to Dorinda, an accomplice of Gator’s who refuses to provide any information. Unbeknownst to Dorinda, Jerry follows her out of the salon and sees her walk up to Gator’s car on the street. As Gator speeds away, Truck and Jerry drive after him. After a car chase through the city, the pursuit continues on foot, and Gator escapes. Truck and Jerry receive word from a retired criminal named Duke that someone named Harvard Blue is also looking for Gator, since he stole Blue’s girlfriend, a buxom blonde named Stalingrad Cruise. Soon after, Truck and Jerry track down a drug dealer friend of Gator’s and force him to call the pimp, saying he has a new batch of drugs. However, the man warns Gator, and a gunfight ensues between Gator, Truck and ... +


In Los Angeles, California, African-American bounty hunter “Mack Truck” Turner and his partner, Jerry, drive to a U.S. Air Force base in search of Garrity, a rapist who has skipped trial after being released on bail. When the guards do not allow them on the base, Truck drives his car through the gate and captures Garrity. After delivering him to the authorities, Truck visits Annie, his girlfriend and a petty thief who is also incarcerated. Later, at a courthouse, a lawyer named Fogarty asks Truck and Jerry to track down a pimp who has defaulted on a $30,000 bail. The pimp’s name is Richard Leroy “Gator” Johnson, and he has a violent criminal record; thus, Truck and Jerry demand more money for the job. Once Fogarty agrees to pay them $1,000 each, Truck and Jerry go to a beauty salon in search of Gator’s prostitutes. There, Truck speaks to Dorinda, an accomplice of Gator’s who refuses to provide any information. Unbeknownst to Dorinda, Jerry follows her out of the salon and sees her walk up to Gator’s car on the street. As Gator speeds away, Truck and Jerry drive after him. After a car chase through the city, the pursuit continues on foot, and Gator escapes. Truck and Jerry receive word from a retired criminal named Duke that someone named Harvard Blue is also looking for Gator, since he stole Blue’s girlfriend, a buxom blonde named Stalingrad Cruise. Soon after, Truck and Jerry track down a drug dealer friend of Gator’s and force him to call the pimp, saying he has a new batch of drugs. However, the man warns Gator, and a gunfight ensues between Gator, Truck and Jerry. They shoot Gator dead, but Stalingrad runs out of the house and stabs Jerry with a pair of scissors, prompting Truck to knock her out with one punch. After Fogarty pays them their fees, Truck and Jerry unwind over some drinks. Truck is late to pick up Annie who has been released from prison, but she forgives him as they return to his apartment and make love. At Gator’s funeral, Harvard Blue appears and offends Dorinda by spitting on the pimp’s grave. At a party afterward, Dorinda sits down with Blue and several other local criminals and says she wants revenge on Truck, saying whoever kills him can join her in running Gator’s stable of prositutes. Although three hit men attempt to kill Truck for Dorinda, they all end up dead. After these initial failures, Blue meets with Dorinda and tells her he will kill Truck in exchange for half of Gator’s share of the profits from the prostitution ring. Blue arranges for a $100,000 life insurance policy on Truck with a corrupt insurance broker, so that they can collect the payout once he is dead. However, in their first attempt to ambush Truck, they accidentally kill Jerry instead. Truck goes to the hospital to see Nate Dinwiddie, who was beaten by Blue’s men in their pursuit of Truck. Returning home, Truck and Annie find his apartment ransacked and his beloved cat, Francis, hanged by the neck. Truck encourages Annie to stay with her parents, but, since she refuses, he frames her for theft at a clothing store in order to send her to safety in prison. Armed with a shotgun, Truck goes in search of Blue, but only finds his henchmen. While visiting Nate at the hospital again, Truck encounters Blue and several hit men who have come to kill him. Drawing a gun from inside his hospital bed, Nate shoots at Blue’s group first, and a bloody gunfight ensues. Elsewhere in the hospital, using a small child as a hostage, Blue tries to escape but Truck shoots him in the leg. As Blue stumbles outside, Truck delivers a fatal shot, then goes to Dorinda’s home and tells all the prostitutes to pack their bags. Dorinda pulls a gun on Truck, but he shoots her first. Annie is released from jail later that day and, although Truck arrives to pick her up, she tells him to leave her alone. However, Truck promises to take Annie out of town and presents her with a kitten. Having reconciled, they drive away together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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