powered by AFI
As a crane truck speeds along a deserted highway in the pouring rain, its five occupants--Eddie, Skeets, Commando, Roly Adams and Frankie--anxiously ponder their future. Upon reaching a railroad signal crossing, the truck stops and several of the men jump out and line the tracks with explosives. At the same time, the driver, Eddie, stations himself above the railroad trestle and jumps on top of the oncoming train. Eddie pumps nerve gas into the cargo car, thus rendering the guards unconscious. After flagging down the train, the others board and seize its cargo--$10,000,000 in gold bars from the U.S. Mint. They blow up the tracks, and after retreating to their hideout, transfer their booty into three separate trucks, which they then load with cargo. As they are loading, Eddie, their leader, outlines the strategy for the 900-mile trek to Los Angeles. Eddie splits them into three groups, assigning Skeets and Commando to the truck carrying coffee. As Skeets and Commando head out, Skeets laments the violent turn his life has taken and dreams of using his share of the loot to start a new life in Rio with his son. Back at the hideout, news of the robbery is broadcast over the radio, after which Eddie gives Roly the signal to start off in the moving van. Finally, Frankie and Eddie climb into the chemical tanker truck and begin their journey to Los Angeles. While nervously chomping on some gum, Roly is stopped at a police roadblock. After searching the truck the police become suspicious and order Roly to pull over. Unnerved, Roly smashes the vehicle into a fence, jumps out and is shot down by the police while attempting to flee. Soon after, Frankie and Eddie approach the roadblock and are cleared by the police. Noticing Roly's truck marooned by the side of the road, Eddie feigns engine trouble and pulls over to investigate, and he and Frankie somberly witness Roly's dead body being transported by stretcher into a waiting ambulance. After hearing the news of Roly's death over the radio, Commando and Skeets pull into a service station to fill up with gas. While the elderly attendant pumps the gas, Commando lifts the hood to check the oil, causing his gun to fall out of his pocket. Spotting the weapon, the terrified attendant begs for mercy, but Commando guns him down in cold blood. While stopped at a roadside café, Frankie and Eddie hear the news of the old man's murder. Skeets, in turmoil, continues on with Commando, and soon after, they come upon a weighing station. When their truck weighs 4,500 pounds more than it should, the police become suspicious and arrest them. Soon after, Frankie and Eddie arrive at the weighing station and learn of their confederates' arrest. Having passed police inspection, the chemical truck drives on and Eddie stops to phone his girl friend Fran in Los Angeles. After hanging up the phone, Fran makes an excuse to leave her office and hurries to a deserted foundry where she ignites a smelter and fans the flames. Soon after, Eddie and Frank arrive, extract the gold from their truck and lower it into the smelter. Once they cast the molten metal into automobile hubcaps and bumpers, a smog control officer comes to cite Eddie for the fumes coming out of his furnace. After the officer leaves, Eddie and Frankie plate the bumpers with chrome and attach them to Eddie's Cadillac. The three then drive off in the Cadillac, headed for the harbor at San Pedro and a ship bound for Portugal. Once they merge onto the freeway, however, traffic slows to a crawl due to a accident. As they near the wreck, a woman driver, distracted by the carnage, rams into the rear of their car, locking her bumper onto theirs. Trying to be helpful, the police rock the two cars to separate them, causing the Cadillac's soft gold bumper to bend. When the police notice the bumper, Frankie pulls his gun on them and is shot. Fleeing, Eddie runs along the freeway and falls to his death while trying to lower himself from an overpass.