Stacy Keach as Pat Quid, energetic American trucker and Navy veteran
Southern Australia, Spring 1980
Release Date: June 26, 1981
Director: Richard Franklin
Costume Designer: Aphrodite Kondos
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
10-4, good buddy! For reasons obvious to anyone even remotely familiar with CB lingo, October 4th is annually celebrated as National Truckers Appreciation Day so today’s post hits the open road with Stacy Keach in the 1981 Ozploitation thriller Roadgames.
Filmed on location in the Nullarbor Plain across southern Australia, Roadgames follows Keach as burly American meat trucker Pat Quid “pushing piggies to Perth,” who breaks up the playing the harmonica and making lame jokes to his dingo Boswell by picking up the hitchhiking heiress Pamela Rushworth (Jamie Lee Curtis) and engaging in a cat-and-mouse game against a possible serial killer driving a green van.
Conceptualized as adapting Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window into a road movie, Pamela’s nickname “Hitch” was director and co-writer Richard Franklin’s nod to the Master of Suspense’s nickname. Keach actually learned how to drive a 16-gear semi truck in just two days to prepare for the role that found him driving a 1976 Mercedes-Benz NG 2224 about 1,600 miles over the course of production.
Roadgames‘ A$1.75 million budget made it the most expensive movie made in Australia when it was released. While it didn’t perform to expectations in either Australia or the United States—which Franklin attributed to being mis-marketed as a slasher—Roadgames has gained a minor cult following over time and has been mentioned as a favorite of Quentin Tarantino.
What’d He Wear?
Following its origins among 19th century work jackets and turn-of-the-century denim jackets pioneered by Levi Strauss & Co., the modern trucker jacket was standardized by the likes of Levi’s, Lee, and Wrangler midway through the 20th century as a waist-length jacket with rivet-style buttons, twin chest pockets, and V-shaped seams that run from the chest pockets to the hem. As fashion evolved to emphasize more casual styles through the 1960s and ’70s, trucker jackets were increasingly produced in more colors and cloths beyond their blue denim origins, result in in pieces like the dark brown sueded jacket that Pat Quid wears for long days driving his rig.
The jacket’s shirt-style collar and pointed pocket flaps are somewhat exaggerated, consistent with late ’70s trends. Rather than the conventional rivet-style buttons, the jacket closes with six copper-toned snaps (or “poppers”) up the front, with a matching snap to close the flap on each chest pocket. As on most trucker jackets, Quid’s jacket has the V-shaped seams running from the horizontal chest yokes over the pockets down to the straight-cut waist hem.
You can hunt down vintage, or you can grab one of these modern varieties to crib Quid's look: Prices and availability current as of Oct. 1, 2023.
At the start of Roadgames, Quid wears a cream-colored long-sleeved camp shirt with a plain front, narrow breast pocket, and button cuffs that he keeps undone and rolled up to his elbows. The narrow notched collar is the “loop collar” variation of a camp collar, so named for the small loop on the left side that connects to a smaller button positioned just below the right collar leaf, should Quid want to close his shirt over his chest.
Quid wears light tobacco-shaded moleskin flat-front casual trousers, styled like jeans with their belt loops, full-top “frogmouth”-style pockets, and patch-style back pockets. He holds them up with a dark brown woven leather belt that closes through a double gold-toned circular-ringed buckle.
Quid’s jeans have a narrow fit through the hips and thighs, somewhat flared below the knee to accommodate his calf-high cowboy boots. “My boots are imitation leather—they’re vinyl… thermoplastic radical,” he insists to the insistent hitchhiker Mrs. Day (Marion Edward), clearly just joking to entertain himself after reluctantly picking up the passenger.
The boots are texturally harmonious with his jacket, as the uppers are a considerably worn brown napped leather. As Quid keeps his trousers on through the duration of his screen-time, little else is seen of the boots aside from the bug-and-wrinkle toe stitching that characterizes so many cowboy boots.
For an occupation that relies on punctuality, Quid takes advantage of the then-contemporary “quartz revolution” and keeps time with a quartz-powered digital watch on the inside of his left wrist. The gold-toned case is octagonal, a shape followed by the black inner face. Above the single line of its digital LCD display, I believe the gold-printed word “SEIKO” identifies the manufacturer, though similar watches were also made by Casio and Delphi at the time. The dark brown leather strap closes through a single-prong buckle.
The next day, Quid wears a more structured shirt in pale sage green, with a narrow point collar, two chest pockets (with button-down flaps that have mitred corners), and a plain button-up front that he typically wears with the top few olive plastic buttons undone. Like the previous long-sleeved shirt, he typically wears these cuffs unbuttoned and rolled up to his elbows.
For the finale, Quid again wears a long-sleeved camp shirt, though made from a bright-red polyester that differs from the earthier shades he typically wears.
How to Get the Look
Pat Quid’s trucker uniform consists of road-worn neutral browns, from his napped jacket and boots to hardy moleskin jeans and a rotation of light-wearing shirts.
- Dark-brown suede trucker jacket with long shirt-style collar, six-snap front, and two chest pockets with pointed snap-down flaps
- Cream long-sleeved camp shirt with narrow loop collar, plain front, breast pocket, and button cuffs
- Light-tobacco moleskin flat-front jeans with belt loops, frogmouth front pockets, patch back pockets, and plain-hemmed boot-cut bottoms
- Brown napped leather calf-high cowboy boots with bug-and-wrinkle toe stitching
- Gold-toned octagonal Seiko quartz digital watch with black octagonal face (and LCD digital display) on dark brown leather strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
Madam, just because I drive a truck does not make me a truck driver.