Deadhead Miles

A very curious case of a film shot and shelved.

Gang of idiots hijacks tractor-trailer, the independent licensee who drives it for them kicks off the traces and heads West with it, hauling as it happens a load of carburetors (“you can’t depend on potluck”).

That is the brief setup, forming the first part of the picture.

In the second and principal part, he picks up a callow hitchhiker who ultimately tries to rob him and must be overpowered. Various amusements and incidental scenes en route comprise the film, a gag on Frank Perry’s Play It as It Lays, for example.

It was eventually shown, by report as much as twelve years after it was completed. A curious circumstance, if only because of the cast, led by Alan Arkin, who might have modeled his accent on Dustin Hoffman’s in Little Big Man.