Alternate Versions (6)

  • For the German DVD release, the film was entirely redubbed.
  • The 5.1 remix that's provided on both the DVD and Blu-ray release contains new sound effects for the engine sounds, along with several other small sound effects throughout the film (though the original mono mix is provided as well in DTS-HD 2.0). Plus the Blu-ray is presented in a matted 1.85:1 ratio to closer represent what was shown in theaters during its limited theatrical release, rather than the 1.33:1 broadcast ratio shown on ABC in 1971.
  • Originally a made-for-TV movie, this Spielberg film was re-edited and lengthened for theatrical release in Europe, at the request of CIC (the distributor).
  • Spielberg shot an additional 16 minutes of footage (bringing the running time up to 90 minutes from the original 74 of the TV version), including a longer title sequence, the expansion of the gas station / laundromat scene towards the beginning of the film (the entire phone conversation with David Mann's wife being added), and the addition of a scene showing the killer truck trying to push Mann's car under a train at a railroad crossing. These new scenes can be noted by the fact that, for shooting the new footage, Universal had to purchase both a new red Plymouth Valiant and a similar Peterbilt semi truck. The Valiant is a 1972 model, which is very close to the original 1971 model in the original film, but not exact - and the differences can be noted in the film.
  • Another new scene, where Weaver stops at a gas station and phones his wife, was written by producer George Eckstein to inflate the running time to the requested 90 minutes. This was reportedly done against Spielberg's wishes.
  • The DVD version is the 90-minute version, but it differs from earlier releases in at least three instances. The camera shadow on the truck's roof (early on, see Goofs) is gone, corrected either digitally or through cropping. Toward the end, in the VHS version, a voice-over makes it very clear what David is planning to do: go at least 70 miles per hour through "Frenchman's Pass," an incline that the truck won't be able to climb very fast; on the DVD, the voice-over is removed, and all one hears is David shouting, "You can't beat me on the grade!" Finally, another fifteen- or twenty-second shot showing David's eyes superimposed over the road as another voice-over reveals he is about to get on the incline, has been removed.