As a kid, I dreamed of being a truck driver. The open road, sleeping in cheap motels with flea-bitten waitresses; a CB in one hand, a stick shift in the other, and an orangutan by my side. It was the American ideal of freedom. Somehow, though, I lost my way and ended up with this crummy job at the Mercury, riding a four-wheeled office chair instead of an 18-wheeled Peterbilt. We can still dream, though. Here are three films that put the pedal to the metal. Ten-four, good buddy.

Duel (1971)--It's all been downhill for Steven Spielberg since his first major movie release: A peaceful traveling salesman is stalked, chased, and attacked by an evil tractor trailer. Not even the swashbuckling Indiana Jones can touch the stunning cinematography of a bulldog truck cutting across the open desert.

Every Which Way But Loose (1978)--Like the woeful and touching lyrics of a country western song put to celluloid: Clint Eastwood stands tall as a brawny truck driver in a world where bare-knuckles stand for virtues and big wheels for masculinity--A touching love story about a barroom fighter who is on the big highway racing towards his love in the Colorado Rockies while being chased by a motorcycle gang. Clyde, a grinning orangutan riding shotgun in Eastwood's rig, steals the show.

White Line Fever (1975)--A one-two punch of romance and morality. Good triumphs over an evil convoy as a baby-faced trucker (Jan-Michael Vincent, pre-Airwolf fame) and his dreamy high school sweet-tart set off to put some religion back in the rough-and-tumble world of trucking. Unsurprisingly, this movie also features a edge-of-the-seat chase scene!