Hijack Highway (1955)

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Hijack Highway [aka Gas-Oil] (1955) Jean Gabin stars as a working-class trucker suspected of running over a man in the road. Gilles Grangier’s quasi-documentary focuses more on the daily grind of manual labor hauling goods and maintenance of trucks than on the heist that violently opens the movie. This film marks the beginning of the friendship between the screenwriter Michel Audiard and Jean Gabin. “The roads belong to truckers,” Gabin says, and his compatriots join together to climb on board their trucks to block and defeat the thieves.

 Gruff and stiff, up before dawn,

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Stinking of methanol,

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Resigned to the long haul,

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First he must switch on

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That shark-nosed beauty,

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Child of American Liberty,

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Then check under the hood

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That his Deutz engine

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Purrs like a carbon swan.

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 Stoic from wartime childhood,

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Last step, to make coffee

The blackest identity,

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Before climbing inside

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That skin-tight chassis,

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His word, his guarantee,

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His life, a wild ride,

Disgracing a female teacher,

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Suspected by cops of murder.

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 To be free he must choose

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To confront his enemy

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With truckers’ solidarity,

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Cruising all the screws,

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Closing roads in the Auvergne,

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Forcing crooks to crash and burn,

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Gaunt Willème plucks

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From corrupt marketeers

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Years of fascist fears.

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Give us back the old trucks

Before computer chips

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Made them too hard to fix.

 

[Disposable Poem December 26, 2016]

Dr. Mike

 

 

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