High-Ballin' (1978)

PG | 100 mins | Drama | 30 August 1978

Director:

Peter Carter

Writer:

Paul Edwards

Producer:

Jon Slan

Cinematographer:

Rene Verzier

Editor:

Eric Wrate

Production Designer:

Claude Bonniere

Production Companies:

The Pando Co., Stanley Chase Productions
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HISTORY

       High-ballin' was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the winter, according to reviews in the 2 Jun 1978 HR, the 12 Jun 1978 Box and the 30 Aug 1978 LAT.
       The film was acquired by American International Pictures (AIP), which was planning to release the film in the US in May of that year, as reported in the 28 Feb 1978 DV and the 3 Apr 1978 Box. On 30 Jun 1978, HR reported the movie would open 19 Jul 1978 in southern California. However, materials from AMPAS library files state that the film did not open in Los Angeles, CA until 30 Aug 1978.
       Several contemporary critics agreed with the 16 Jun 1978 review in IFJ, which stated, “although High-Ballin’ is no great shakes in terms of original storytelling, director Peter Carter provides a good deal more polish and flash than one might expect of the raucous road genre.” The three leads received praise in a variety of publications, with LAT singling out Helen Shaver’s portrayal and Box preferring Peter Fonda and Jerry Reed’s performances. The 5 Jul 1978 Motion Picture Product Digest had the harshest review, describing the film as “[existing] not to provide any kind of realistic picture of the trucking industry today but to exploit it for a standard action movie with lots of violence.”
       On 1 Apr 1981, Var reported that a Canadian company, Somervill House Management, sued Filmways Pictures Inc. and Stanley Chase Productions Inc. for breach of contract, conversion and breach of trust. ... More Less

       High-ballin' was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the winter, according to reviews in the 2 Jun 1978 HR, the 12 Jun 1978 Box and the 30 Aug 1978 LAT.
       The film was acquired by American International Pictures (AIP), which was planning to release the film in the US in May of that year, as reported in the 28 Feb 1978 DV and the 3 Apr 1978 Box. On 30 Jun 1978, HR reported the movie would open 19 Jul 1978 in southern California. However, materials from AMPAS library files state that the film did not open in Los Angeles, CA until 30 Aug 1978.
       Several contemporary critics agreed with the 16 Jun 1978 review in IFJ, which stated, “although High-Ballin’ is no great shakes in terms of original storytelling, director Peter Carter provides a good deal more polish and flash than one might expect of the raucous road genre.” The three leads received praise in a variety of publications, with LAT singling out Helen Shaver’s portrayal and Box preferring Peter Fonda and Jerry Reed’s performances. The 5 Jul 1978 Motion Picture Product Digest had the harshest review, describing the film as “[existing] not to provide any kind of realistic picture of the trucking industry today but to exploit it for a standard action movie with lots of violence.”
       On 1 Apr 1981, Var reported that a Canadian company, Somervill House Management, sued Filmways Pictures Inc. and Stanley Chase Productions Inc. for breach of contract, conversion and breach of trust. The Canadian firm requested $100,067 that it claimed it was owed as well as $250,000 in punitive damages. According to Somervill, when Filmways acquired distribution rights for High-Ballin’, the latter agreed “to repay Somervill $600,000 and all the monies above Filmways’ distribution fee until the Somervill investors had been repaid.” The suit indicated that Filmways violated its contract with Somervill by making a payment to a profit participant without Somervill’s permission and that “$100,067 is based on a percentage of that sum.” The outcome of the suit has not been determined.
      Text appearing after the end credits states, "The Producers thank the following for their assistance: Canadian Kenworth Company; Chrysler Canada Ltd.; Fruehauf Trailer Co. of Canada Ltd.; Radio Shack; Skyline Hotels Limited; Superior Electronics Inc.; Toronto Harbour Commission and World Trade Centre, Toronto," then "Accommodation Provided by the Sutton Place Hotel."
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Apr 1978.
---
Box Office
12 Jun 1978.
---
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1978.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 1978
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 1978.
---
Independent Film Journal
16 Jun 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Aug 1978
p. 12.
Motion Picture Product Digest
5 Jul 1978.
---
Variety
17 May 1978
p. 39.
Variety
7 Jun 1978
p. 25.
Variety
1 Apr 1981.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Stanley Chase, The Pando Co. and Jon Slan Present
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit mgr
1st asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
From a story by
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Generator op
Key grip
2d grip
Stills
2d unit cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Props
MUSIC
Orig mus score
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr
Asst to the prod
Prod secy
Continuity
Casting
Casting
Unit pub
STAND INS
Stunt co-ord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
SOURCES
SONGS
"High Rollin'," written by Jerry Reed and Dick Feller, sung by Jerry Reed.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Highballin'
Release Date:
30 August 1978
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 August 1978 at the Gordon Theater and Hollywood Pacific Theatre
Copyright Claimant:
The Montreal Trust Company & The Flyer Syndicate
Copyright Date:
2 June 1978
Copyright Number:
PA15985
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Colour by Film House
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Canada, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25229
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Truck driver Duke Boykin runs into his old friend, a trucker-turned-biker named Rane. At a coffee shop, as the two men discuss a rash of violent hijackings against independent truckers, another trucker rudely propositions a pretty female truck driver named Pickup. When Rane comments on Pickup’s refusal, the male trucker challenges him to a fight outside the diner that Rane wins. Later, Rane goes home with Duke, where he is reunited with Duke’s wife Vonetta and their two children. The older sibling, Tanker, idolizes Rane. After dinner, Duke admits to Rane that he is considering giving up trucking, then invites Rane to work with him for the next couple weeks. However, Rane refuses, preferring to continue his biker lifestyle. A distress call comes to Duke over his home Citizens Band (CB) radio, but they cannot discern the message or the caller. Duke and Rane go out and learn that another truck driver has been hijacked, then join the police’s manhunt to help find the beaten trucker. Afterwards, at a bar, Rane deduces that the hijackers must know the independents’ schedules, so he volunteers to stay and help Duke. As Duke leaves the bar to sleep off his hangover, Rane runs into Pickup who flirts but declines to get a beer with him. The next day, Rane and Duke go to King Caroll Cargo to pick up a load of cars to haul. When Duke learns that the permit that legally allows him to transport the load still has not arrived, King gives him the load anyway and promises to pay Duke’s fine if the police arrest him. King ... +


Truck driver Duke Boykin runs into his old friend, a trucker-turned-biker named Rane. At a coffee shop, as the two men discuss a rash of violent hijackings against independent truckers, another trucker rudely propositions a pretty female truck driver named Pickup. When Rane comments on Pickup’s refusal, the male trucker challenges him to a fight outside the diner that Rane wins. Later, Rane goes home with Duke, where he is reunited with Duke’s wife Vonetta and their two children. The older sibling, Tanker, idolizes Rane. After dinner, Duke admits to Rane that he is considering giving up trucking, then invites Rane to work with him for the next couple weeks. However, Rane refuses, preferring to continue his biker lifestyle. A distress call comes to Duke over his home Citizens Band (CB) radio, but they cannot discern the message or the caller. Duke and Rane go out and learn that another truck driver has been hijacked, then join the police’s manhunt to help find the beaten trucker. Afterwards, at a bar, Rane deduces that the hijackers must know the independents’ schedules, so he volunteers to stay and help Duke. As Duke leaves the bar to sleep off his hangover, Rane runs into Pickup who flirts but declines to get a beer with him. The next day, Rane and Duke go to King Caroll Cargo to pick up a load of cars to haul. When Duke learns that the permit that legally allows him to transport the load still has not arrived, King gives him the load anyway and promises to pay Duke’s fine if the police arrest him. King encourages Duke to work for him, but Duke declines the offer, then leaves with his cargo of cars. Duke picks up Tanker to accompany him and Rane, then starts driving his route. When Pickup alerts them over the CB that police are nearby, Duke moves off the road until the police pass. Duke resumes driving but runs into a detour that leaves him stuck at a low bridge. He and Rane figure out how to pass under the bridge, unwittingly escaping a trap laid by the hijackers. Duke then sees a car parked in distress but drives past, suspecting a trick. As he does, the hijackers shoot at him and give chase in multiple cars. Duke radios Pickup for help and she arranges to meet him at a nearby junction. Meanwhile, Rane climbs onto the back of Duke's speeding rig and releases the cars so the vehicles will crash into their pursuers. One of the hijackers then climbs aboard the truck and fights Rane, who forces his assailant off the moving vehicle and resumes using the cars as a defense. One of the hijackers’ bullets hits Duke's fuel tank so that it leaks gas. Pickup arrives at the junction and pulls out a gun in anticipation, noticing that Duke is still being pursued by one car. As Rane gets back in the cab, Duke’s truck runs out of gas and stops. Duke releases the flatbed to slow down the hijackers. Then he, Rane and Tanker leave the truck behind and run toward Pickup, who returns the hijackers’ fire until she can drive her friends to safety. Later, when Duke, Rane and Pickup return to Duke’s rig, Duke again mentions the possibility of quitting the business or joining King Caroll because it is not worth risking his life for independence. When Rane proposes that they make an illegal haul that will make them a lot of money, Pickup suggests transporting whiskey from a man named Slater to a lumber camp. Pickup says they can make $10,000, but Duke knows it costs $6000 upfront to obtain the cargo. Although Rane offers to sell his bike for $1000, Duke decides to use his rig as collateral. When the friends meet Slater, Rane refuses to let Pickup come inside with them and she drives away in anger. After Slater explains to Duke and Rane that they must buy the load for $6000, then sell it on their own, Duke agrees to make a pickup in the morning. At a bar that night, Duke and Rane run into Pickup, who complains that she has helped them twice and all she wants is acknowledgment. After Duke leaves, Rane and Pickup dance until a man cuts in, starting a fight. While another man drags Pickup away, Rane beats the aggressors and runs out of the bar with Pickup, who drives them to safety. Rane instructs Pickup to check in to a motel and wait for him there, then hides outside where he observes a van stopping in front of the motel, then driving away. Rane joins Pickup in the motel room and they make love. Meanwhile, at King Caroll’s office, Harvey, King’s partner, discusses King’s secret intimidation campaign to drive the independent truckers out of business by having Harvey hijack them. Harvey reports that Rane is not going to give in, which will inspire others to resist. He then concludes that the only solution is to kill Rane, but King is not interested in killing anyone. Besides, Slater alerted King to the whiskey deal with Duke, which means that Duke is desperate. If Duke gives in, the other independent truckers will, too. However, Harvey remains convinced that Rane is a threat, so he returns to the motel in his van. Although Harvey and a henchman shoot into Pickup and Rane’s room, the lovers get away. When the gunmen leave, Rane and Pickup follow them to King Caroll’s company. While Rane breaks into King’s warehouse, King’s men grab Pickup from her truck. Harvey and his men look for Rane in the warehouse, but Rane scares them and escapes. Reuniting with King, Harvey instructs his partner to make sure that Pickup does not get away because she is their only insurance, then leaves to find Duke. The next morning, Duke returns to Slater and leaves with his cargo, disappointed that Rane is not there to meet him. Later, Rane accosts Slater, demanding to know Duke’s whereabouts, then races after Duke in one of Slater’s trucks. Meanwhile, Harvey intercepts Duke and shoots him in the gut. Rane finds his friend and drives Duke back to his farm, calling for an ambulance on the way. Once the paramedics take Duke away, Rane drives toward King Caroll’s place and Tanker jumps on Rane’s motorcycle to get help. As Rane radios King to warn that he is coming for him, Tanker rides to the coffee shop and reports what happened. All the truckers drive to King’s to help Rane. Rane radios the truckers to announce that Harvey shot Duke but King is the one behind the intimidation scheme. Back at King’s headquarters, Harvey knocks Pickup unconscious, shooting King when he protests. As the truckers arrive and fight King’s men, Harvey puts Pickup in his car and drives away. Rane sees Harvey and gives chase. Pickup wakes up during the pursuit and grabs the wheel from Harvey, who pushes her out of the car, then jumps out himself while the vehicle is still moving. Harvey holds a gun to Pickup’s head as Rane approaches on foot. At Rane’s urging, Harvey releases Pickup and the two men face each other alone. Both men draw their weapons and Rane shoots Harvey, then embraces Pickup. Back at the Boykin farm, Vonetta and a recovering Duke bid farewell to Pickup and Rane, who gives his bike to Tanker, then drives away in Pickup’s truck. +

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

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