Chances are you've heard a bit about Steven Spielberg's first directorial effort. You may have even heard that it was great. It was beyond great. And the story is as simple as mud. Dennis Weaver is driving across country while on the job and some crazy-ass truck driver decides to do him in, pitting semi against Plymouth Valiant. There's really nothing more to it than that, which is kind of like sayingRomeo and Juliet is just a damned love story. Weaver turns in the performance of a life time here and Spielberg was seldom better--and after Jaws he never was better. The sense of being on the road, of being behind the wheel, of having a deranged giant mated to your destruction--these elements are captured, conveyed and transmogrified on the screen with such steadily increasing terror that you might not even notice the clever subtleties, such as the hash marks on the bumper of the 18-wheeler. This movie is Hitchcock on a lifeboat, this movie is John Ford on the prairie, this is Walter Huston in the mountains. This is life and death, the way movies were supposed to be and I guarantee you that you'll think twice before cutting off a semi again.