Breaker! Breaker!

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Breaker! Breaker!
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDon Hulette
Written byTerry Chambers
Produced bySam Schulman
Bernard Tabakin
Don Hulette
John Burrows
StarringChuck Norris
George Murdock
Terry O'Connor
Michael Augenstein
CinematographyMario DiLeo
Edited bySteven Zaillian
Music byDon Hulette
Terry Chambers
Denny Brooks
Paragon Films Inc.
Worldwide Productions
Distributed byAIP
Release dates
  • May 6, 1977 (1977-05-06) (U.S.)
  • May 15, 1978 (1978-05-15) (Germany)
  • December 19, 1980 (1980-12-19) (Denmark)
Running time
85 min. (approx.)
CountryUnited States
Box office$12 million[1] or $3 million[3]

Breaker! Breaker! is a 1977 American action film directed by Don Hulette and starring Chuck Norris.[4]


J.D. (Chuck Norris), a trucker from California, returns from the road to learn that an old friend was assaulted and paralyzed by Sergeant Strode (Don Gentry), a policeman in Texas City, California. He makes inquiries into Texas City and learns that its policemen Strode and Deputy Boles (Ron Cedillos) have a history of "trapping" truckers for a corrupt judge named Trimmings who is running various rackets in the so-called "City".

When his younger brother Billy (Michael Augenstein) begins working as a trucker, J.D. warns him to stay away from Texas City. But Billy is easily fooled by an officer (Strode) on a CB radio, who pretends he is a fellow trucker.

After Billy disappears, J.D. sets out in search of him. He goes to Texas City and barges in on a city council meeting, wherein Trimmings' stooges boast of their speed traps. He befriends a waitress named Arlene, a single mother, working at a diner which overcharges outsiders. After getting into a fight with the owner of the local wrecking yard and accidentally killing him, J.D. is arrested and sentenced to death by Judge Trimmings.

Arlene escapes from Trimmings corrupt lawmen on a motorcycle and contacts J.D.'s fellow truckers about what has happened via CB radio. They come to rescue J.D. and Billy, knocking Strode into a ditch before tearing the town down with their big rigs. J.D. finds Billy in a local barn, and then fights Deputy Boles in a horse corral, knocking him out. One of the truckers drives his rig into Judge Trimmings house while he is in bed with his lover, presumably killing them, as the rest of the corrupt town burns.


  • Chuck Norris as John David "J.D." Dawes
  • George Murdock as Judge Joshua Trimmings
  • Terry O'Connor as Arlene Trimmings
  • Don Gentry as Sergeant Strode
  • John DiFusco as Arney
  • Ron Cedillos as Deputy Boles
  • Michael Augenstein as Billy Dawes
  • Dan Vandegrift as Wilfred
  • Douglas Stevenson as Drake
  • Paul Kawecki as Wade
  • Larry Feder as George
  • Jack Nance as Burton


Norris said he was paid $5,000 to do the film. "I didn't know anything when I made that movie", said Norris. "We shot it in just 11 days. But it was amazing, people loved it anyway. It's a down-home kind of movie. It's still my dad's favorite."[1]

"I want to become as big in the movie industry as I've been in the karate industry", said Norris in 1977. "I know I can do it because I have the faith to do it."[5]


Critical response[edit]

Norris was not particularly proud of the film but in 1981 said it was his father's favorite of his movies and "made a lot of money".[6]

The New York Times called it "shoddy" with "wooden direction" and a "sophmoric cast".[7] The Los Angeles Times called it "a talky, melodramatic exploitation hybrid."[8]

Other media[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The film was referenced on the May 24, 2007 episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, when O'Brien used a Breaker! Breaker! lever to showcase random scenes from Walker, Texas Ranger.[9]

The film was a subject of good-natured ridicule in a March 21, 2013 video-on-demand release by Rifftrax.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c BROESKE, P. H. (May 19, 1985). "CHUCK NORRIS--AN ALL-AMERICAN HIT". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 154169712.
  2. ^ "Noted...: Chuck Norris Films Re-Enter Fight Scene". Los Angeles Times. May 2, 1981. p. c9.
  3. ^ Donahue, Suzanne Mary (1987). American film distribution : the changing marketplace. UMI Research Press. p. 300. ISBN 9780835717762. Please note figures are for rentals in US and Canada
  4. ^ Breaker! Breaker! on IMDb, accessed January 16, 2013
  5. ^ Lee, Grant. (May 25, 1977). "FILM CLIPS: Trek From TV to Movie to TV". Los Angeles Times. p. g9.
  6. ^ Drooz, A. (Mar 12, 1981). "Chuck norris aims for stardom". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 152733428.
  7. ^ A. H. WEILER. (May 19, 1977). "Film: 'Breaker!' Stalls". New York Times. p. 71.
  8. ^ Gross, Linda. (May 10, 1977). "MOVIE REVIEW: Truckers Blitz Evil in 'Breaker!'". Los Angeles Times. p. i8.
  9. ^ Late Night with Conan O'Brien on YouTube, May 24, 2007, accessed January 16, 2013
  10. ^ "RiffTrax Breaker! Breaker! Page", March 21, 2013.