David Mann is wearing corrective glasses in much of the movie. However, when sitting at a table of Chuck Cafe, without is glasses, he is able to see details of other truck drivers sitting far away at the bar and also to read the restaurant menu from close by.
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The diesel locomotives pulling the Southern Pacific freight trains are too modern to be equipped with the deep single-note airhorns as heard in the film (they are no doubt canned sounds). Leslie or Nathan muti-chime horns can clearly be seen on the cab roofs of the locomotives and should have a blaring brassier tone. The horns are not blown in the normal 2 longs, a short and a long per regulation approaching grade crossings.
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When David tells the operator what phone booth he is calling from, the number that is heard spoken does not match the actor's mouth movements.
When Mann arrives at the train crossing, he has clearly stopped his car directly in front of the gate, which has lowered due to the approaching train. After the truck starts pushing Mann's car toward the train, in both a shot from the far side of the train (when we see Mann's car in the spaces between the train's wheels) and in a wide shot from the near side of the train, we can clearly see that Mann's car is to the left of the train gate. If the car had still been in front of the train gate when the truck pushed the car past the gate, the gate would have broken off.
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The truck's license plates also disappear altogether in some scenes.
As we see the cars speed, we also see the odometer, which varies between 4600 and 5100 and back again.
Toward the end, Mann has smashed his car into the mountain and sustained considerable front-end damage; yet in the subsequent brief shot of him leaping from the vehicle, the front of the car looks perfectly fine.
After crashing into the fence, David Mann closes his car door as he prepares to go into Chuck's Cafe. Later, when he goes to get back in his car, the driver's door is open.
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The glass of water at Chuck's Cafe is half full after being completely gulped.
When the passing train wakes up Mann, the back left door of his car is slightly opened and the window is half-opened. Both the door and the window are closed in the next shot.
The streaks on the back of David Mann's car change in size and number for no apparent reason.
In an early scene, when David Mann stops to get gas, he makes a phone call to his wife. His glasses are bent and distorted. In following scenes, when he has them on again in the car, the glasses appear undamaged.
When David Mann first passes the truck, we get a view of the landscape and roadside objects as he passes. When he has to pass the truck a second time, a few miles down the road, the same footage is used (as evidenced by the same objects appearing on the roadside and horizon).
When Mann first enters the service station in Acton, his car is covered in shadow, indicating the sun is below the building to the right of his car. In the next shot the sun appears overhead as his car is covered in sunlight.
In the last scene where the truck is about to go over the cliff, the driver has feet on both the clutch and brake pedal, it is very obvious that the truck driver is accelerating and up shifting in the audio.
Inside the cafe, just as the cook says "oh? looked like a big complication to me", you see a table with a mostly-green floral arrangement on it, to the right of the window. A few moments later, that table and greenery has moved to the back corner of the area where Mann is sitting, and the wood chair that had been in that corner has shifted left, toward the center of the wall. The floral arrangement on that corner table remains mainly green.. ..until the waitress brings Mann's food, at which point it has changed to a completely different set of flowers (possibly the one that had been on the booth-table directly behind Mann, albeit turned - large yellow flower, red ribbon on a white vase)... Also, from that same moment, the wood chair is gone. Also, the yellow/red floral arrangement, during the time it was still on the booth-table behind Mann, alternated from being centered to being near the edge of the table.
During the train crossing scene were the irate psycho trucker attempts to force the Mann's car into the moving train there are a couple of brief shots through the car window or between vehicles. The rolling train should be visible instead we see hills - there is no train.
When the Valiant is slowing as it's overheating, we see several shots of the car's speedometer drop down to as low as 15 mph. When the shot immediately switches back to Mann behind the wheel, we clearly see from the landscape outside the car, it's going much faster than that.
The same green Chevrolet Caprice station wagon with wood paneling is seen at least three times during the movie. First, on the highway during the opening sequence as David Mann is driving out of town; again when it drives by Chuck's Cafe; and finally it has to swerve dramatically around David's car when he stops it in the middle of the road when he sees the truck waiting for him.
As David's car overheats due to a blown radiator hose we see an increasing amount of smoke/steam coming from the car. But from the interior of the car as we look toward the rear of the car, there is little or no smoke/steam.
After Mann leaps from the car and the car crashes head-on into the truck, the truck pushes the car backwards. After a brief shot of Mann, we see the car being pushed sideways, as if it had been broadsided.
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The original 74 minute version was filmed with a Peterbilt 281 (tag axle) that was re-powered with a 1674 270hp I-6 Cat, thus the yellow, horizontal air cleaner on the right side of the engine. The extra 16 minutes of the movie was filmed with a 351, which lacks this yellow air cleaner. This mistake is most visible when the truck comes out of the tunnel.
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The pool balls change positions and become more numerous after David Mann is thrown onto it at Chuck's cafe.
During the scene at the railway crossing, in one shot the lettering on the freight cars appears in mirror image. (It is not possible that we're seeing a reflection in the rear view mirror, as the train is in front of the car and still seems to be moving the right way anyway).
When Mann careens into the lot across from Chuck's Cafe, we are seen an interior shot of the car, with a brief glimpse of the side of Mann's head. He is not wearing his spectacles. But when we go to the exterior of the car, he is clearing wearing them.
The weather changes from clear and sunny to dark clouds and back to clear and sunny towards the end of the movie when David Mann's car starts conking out on him.
Throughout the film, there are numerous inconsistencies in surrounding terrain and landscapes during some of the chase scenes.
When David confronts the man whom he believes to be the truck driver in the café, the driver's beer is half empty on the table, but in the overhead shot when he goes to drink it, the glass is full again
Throughout most of the film, a photo of [presumably] Mann's family can be seen clipped onto the wide part of his driver-side sun visor. However, it disappears in the shot where he waves giddily at the truck driver, after having passed him via the dirt side-road. It reappears a few seconds later. It's also absent in the scene where the truck is pushing Mann's car toward the train, only to reappear later.
At the crossing, the truck is pushing the car towards the train. Immediately after the train barely clears the crossing, Mann floors it over the crossing. The gates would not have even begun to raise yet, but the next shot shows Mann barely past the crossing and the gates are completely raised and off.
When Mann is at the first gas station, the Plymouth lettering on the hood is made up of individually attached letters. In all subsequent shots however, the badging on the hood of his car is actually a one piece chrome badge with the Plymouth letters stamped on it, instead of the individual lettering as seen before.
When David returns from the restroom at Chuck's, he sees the truck out front, it's front wheels are cramped to the right, a bit later they are turned forward.
When David chases the truck out of Chuck's Cafe on foot, he has a stain on his shirt. When he then walks back to his car, the stain is gone.
Early in the movie, the truck rams the car and breaks the tail light. After David is startled by the train passing, the tail light of his car is magically fixed.
David's sunglasses appear and disappear several times during the movie. He wears them while driving, but then when he stops and a close up is used, the glasses are gone.
During one of the first chases, Mann's seatbelt disappears and reappears between shots.
When David Mann First sees the Truck, it has smoke coming out of the top but when he passes it, there is none being emitted.
During the final chase, there are several shots where it appears that Dave Mann has bloody upper teeth as if he had an injury inside his mouth. It is most apparent in the side shots.
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When Mann pulls up to the railroad crossing, the pavement is asphalt with white stripes painted at the crossing gate. However, when the truck starts pushing Mann's car and he applies the brakes then spins the tires in reverse, the asphalt has become dirt and small rocks.
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When Mann approaches the phone booth at the "Snakerama" he says "Odd place for a telephone booth," and gets inside, closing the door behind him. The camera pans to the right slightly, revealing the reflection of 'Steven Spielberg (I)' in the lower right-hand side of the glass panel, wearing what appears to be a blue Hawaiian shirt, glancing up and down at the script in his hands. Behind him, the truck's reflection can also be seen.
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When Mann's car starts acting up you can see someone (Spielberg himself per various sources) in the backseat of his car in the rear-view mirror.
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In the chase scene leading to Chuck's Cafe, a camera mounted on the right rear side of the car can be seen briefly.
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Many times when David Mann looks into his rear-view mirror, a crew member can be seen ducking in the backseat of his car.
As David Mann is walking towards his seat in Chuck's Cafe after his visit to the rest room, the shadow of the camera can be clearly seen on his back.
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When the camera is coming up to Mann at his table at Chuck's Cafe, it's shadow can be seen on the back of the booth.
Reflected in the phone booth, and in the table at Chuck's Cafe (it's Steven Spielberg).
When David is trying to push the bus with his car, a shot of a bumper has a few crew members reflected in it.
In the wide shot overlooking the truck at the gas station, a camera shadow can be seen on the truck's roof, at the bottom of the screen.
A camera shadow can be seen around the edges when Mann is in the bathroom washing his face.
Towards the end of the movie, there is a shot of the driving column. Behind David's shoulder looking into the car is a crewmember at the bottom right-hand side of the screen.
Shadow of the camera visible on the left side of the screen as it zooms in on David after he takes his seat at the restaurant.
Entire film crew visible in a display case reflection during the "snake station" sequence, just before the truck crashes into it.
(at around 5 mins) There is a shot from the passenger seat showing Mann driving. A man in a green or yellow shirt is reflected in the window behind him, filming the action from behind with a camera.
When the car gets pushed on the tracks, the camera crew is reflected in the car's hub cab. Also, some time later the crew is reflected in the back side of the car's mirror.
In the cafe as Chuck stares at the truckers on the stools, the shadow of the boom operator and boom mic moves across the men several times as the camera zooms in.
As the truck goes over the cliff in slow motion, the drivers door is already open before it reaches, and as it goes over the edge, as it had to be for the stunt driver to survive by bailing out at the last minute. But it looks like the story maniac driver could also have survived.
In different shots of the windshield of the Valiant, an inspection sticker is evident. This would support the fact that two cars were used, as odometer readings change as well.
When the Valiant overheats, most shots of the speedometer needle falling show that the transmission is in neutral.
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