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Black Dog (film)

Black Dog
Directed by Kevin Hooks
Produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis
Michael Ilitch Jr.
Mark W. Koch
Peter Saphier
Written by William Mickelberry
Dan Vining
Starring Patrick Swayze
Randy Travis
Meat Loaf
Graham Beckel
Brenda Strong
Charles S. Dutton
Lorraine Toussaint
Stephen Tobolowsky
Mutual Film Company
Prelude Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates May 1, 1998 (1998-05-01)
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $12,951,088

Black Dog is a 1998 action film directed by Kevin Hooks and starring Patrick Swayze. The film tells the story of a trucker and ex-con who is manipulated into transporting illegal arms. The film co-stars musicians Randy Travis and Meat Loaf.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Soundtrack 3
    • Content and reception 3.1
    • Track listing 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The movie first starts out with FBI and ATF agents on a pursuit to stop a truck carrying illegal guns as part of an illegal arms operation. The result is the death of the driver, which leads to a disagreement with FBI and ATF agents on involvement with the case, which carries on throughout the movie. Then comes Jack Crews (Patrick Swayze), a truck driver who has just been released from jail for vehicular manslaughter, for accidentally hitting and killing a motorist and his passenger on the side of the road during a trip in which he experienced a Black Dog hallucination. Along with his imprisonment, he also loses his commercial driver's license (CDL). Following his release, he attempts to get back to a normal life but this time holds a job as a truck mechanic for a local repair shop in New Jersey. He is then offered a job by his manager, Cutler (Graham Beckel) to drive a load of toilets from Atlanta to New Jersey for $10,000. Crews initially declines the offer, but then finds out that his house will be repossessed unless he pays off his debt. He then changes his mind and takes the job where he flies down to Atlanta to meet up with Red (Meat Loaf), who runs the trucking yard. Red initially gives Crews a brand-new truck to haul the load, but Crews prefers an older Peterbilt as to not draw too much attention. He is accompanied on the trip by Earl (Randy Travis) riding shotgun, and Sonny (Gabriel Casseus) and Wes (Brian Vincent) following in Sonny's Camaro for policy protection. As they make their way to New Jersey, Crews and the guys experience several run-ins with Red and his crew as they attempt to hijack the load, in retaliation for the failed negotiations with Cutler about money. During the trip, Crews finds out that his load also contains illegal guns (over $3,000,000 worth, according to ATF), and that Wes has been informing Red of their whereabouts throughout the trip. Crews also discovers that Sonny is an FBI agent when he is shot and killed by Red during another hijack attempt, and that the FBI has been tracking their whereabouts as well.

Things take a turn for the worse when Cutler takes Crews' wife Melanie and daughter Tracy hostage to ensure that Crews will complete the job and finish the trip. Despite the numerous attempts from Red to hijack the load, as well as the death of Sonny, Crews manages to survive each attempt. When they make it to Maryland, Crews now officially knows what the whole plot is and formulates a plan to turn over the guns to the FBI and to get his family back. Wes at this point has gone his separate way, while Earl decides to stay on until the end. Crews puts the FBI tracking device on the truck that Wes is leaving on and eventually the FBI pulls over the truck to realize it is the wrong one. However, Crews calls Agent Allen Ford (Charles Dutton) who is leading the case on Wes' cell phone. He tells him his plan which is to meet him at a loading dock in New Jersey, where he will be meeting with Cutler to exchange the guns for his family. Eventually when the meeting occurs, the FBI shows up and a shootout occurs with Cutler's men. Crews is able to catch Cutler before he can escape and then turns him over to the FBI. Then in the end, the FBI gives Crews his CDL license back, and also tells Crews that his house won't be foreclosed, in return for his assistance during the operation and they thank him for bringing Sonny's body back. He is also given the key to drive the truck one last time to the impound lot. Also, Crews thanks Earl, who was wounded in the shootout between the FBI and Cutler's men, for staying, and in return Earl tells Crews to take care of his dog, Tiny (a pit bull riding in the trailer as a guard), until he heals and everything is sorted out. As Crews and his family leave the docks for the impound lot, he is intercepted by Red who makes one last attempt at Crews' life, but as they are slamming into each other Red loses control of his truck which then flips over numerous times before getting hit by a Fairbanks-Morse H-12-44 Switching Locomotive and exploding into pieces.



Black Dog
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released April 1998 (1998-04)
Genre Country
Length 44:07
Label Decca
Producer Various original producers; compilation produced by Ken Downie, Ed Handley, Andy Turner

A soundtrack album for the film, featuring various country music artists, was released in April 1998 via Decca Records Nashville. It peaked at number 30 on Top Country Albums.[1]

Content and reception

Thom Owens gave the soundtrack a mixed review in Allmusic, praising the performances of Randy Travis, David Lee Murphy, and Rhett Akins.[2]

Among the cuts on the soundtrack, Rhett Akins' "Drivin' My Life Away" (a cover of Eddie Rabbitt) and Linda Davis's "I Wanna Remember This" were both released as singles. Patty Loveless' "On Down the Line" was previously a single from her 1990 album of the same name, and Steve Earle's "Nowhere Road" a single from his 1987 album Exit 0. David Lee Murphy's "We Can't All Be Angels" also appeared on his 1997 album of the same name, Lee Ann Womack's "A Man with 18 Wheels" previously appeared on her 1997 self-titled debut, Big House's "Road Man" previously appeared on their 1997 self-titled debut, and Chris Knight's "The Hammer Going Down" appeared on his 1998 self-titled debut. "Highway Junkie", recorded here by Gary Allan, was previously recorded by Randy Travis on his 1996 album Full Circle.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Performer Length
1. "A Man with 18 Wheels"   Bobby Carmichael, Leslie Satcher Lee Ann Womack 3:20
2. "Drivin' My Life Away"   David Malloy, Eddie Rabbitt, Even Stevens Rhett Akins 3:44
3. "Road Man"   Monty Byrom, Scott Hutchison, David Kaffinetti, Ira Walker Big House 6:08
4. "Highway Junkie"   Chris Knight, Annie Tate, Sam Tate Gary Allan 3:25
5. "The Hammer Going Down"   Knight, Dean Miller Chris Knight 5:30
6. "We Can't All Be Angels"   David Lee Murphy, Danny Tate David Lee Murphy 4:18
7. "My Greatest Fear"   Randy Travis, Brian Vincent Randy Travis 3:13
8. "On Down the Line"   Kostas Patty Loveless 3:09
9. "Nowhere Road"   Steve Earle, Reno Kling Steve Earle 2:49
10. "Drivin' All Night Long"   Bruce Robison Jack Ingram 4:38
11. "I Wanna Remember This"   Jennifer Kimball, Annie Roboff Linda Davis 3:53
Total length:


  1. ^ awards"Black Dog". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Owens, Thom. "Black Dog".  

External links

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