White Line Fever, 1975 film starring Jan-Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz and Slim Pickens. Truckers verses corruption in the seventies.
Young Carrol Jo Hummer (Vincent) and his new wife Jerri buy their first rig which he dubs ‘The Blue Mule’. He wants to be an independent owner/operator in the trucking industry in Arizona. That’s a lot to ask for though in the mid seventies as corruption runs rampant in the industry. If he doesn’t conform and deliver what they say and how he will find it very hard to get work. He wont bow down to the racketeers though and tries to fight for what he believes in.
I had high hopes for this film when I sat down to watch it however I was soon disappointed. The premise was good and it was a real problem in the seventies but I was not impressed with the acting. It was nice to see all the classic rigs of the day and even the scenery back then before it became modern. I drive truck myself so I appreciate what independents had to go through back then to make it easier and less dangerous.
I figured that with Vincent as the star this would be good and you did see the potential in his acting but this was made early on in his movie career. I didn’t get Pickens character condoning the violence against Carrol who was supposedly a good friend. It could have been a good film about the formation of a good truckers union back then but it was just not convincing. Strong arm tactics were used back then by the corrupt owners but not to the point of killing the way this film did.
To me the film and the story did have potential but the writers went in the wrong direction. It was definitely no ‘Convoy’ type trucker film and came off as a see once only film and one that you were a little annoyed that you paid to see it.