Reel Road Trips

 

With the Academy Awards now in our rearview mirror, I offer a trivia question: What do Robert DeNiro, Jack Nicholson, Robin Williams and Albert Brooks have in common?

Answer: They’ve all driven RVs, of course.

Hollywood has a long history of making motor homes and trailers part of the silver screen story – from Lucy and Desi in “The Long, Long Trailer” to Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl in “The Incredibles.” There have been comedies (“Borat”), thrillers (“2012”), dramas (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”), even a whole bunch of horror films with titles like “Dead and Breakfast” and “Troll 2.”

Why the RV? Well, maybe it’s because it offers an opportunity for dramatic setting – and an ever-changing one at that. That’s the whole point. The massive windshield is like a camera lens pointed at the nation’s most remarkable scenery. The driver is the cinematographer, who also gets to be the star.

Perhaps it’s because the vehicle becomes so integral to the journey that it becomes a character itself. It is more than a means to an end. It’s a carefully chosen means, selected or adapted to fully realize the road trip experience. In that sense, RVers are a bit like casting directors. Even if you think of it as just another way to move the plot – and the stars of the film – from Point A to Point B, it’s a heck of a good plot device.

So RVs have a long and varied film career. They have even played bit parts in movies ranging from “Rambo” to “The Jerk.” But in many films, a house on wheels has played a more significant role. In fact, here is a list of 100 movies featuring houses on wheels:

1. RV (2006)

2. Lost in America (1985)

3. The Long, Long Trailer (1953)

4. Independence Day (1996)

5. Stripes (1981)

6. About Schmidt (2002)

7. Blues Brothers (1980)

8. Tin Cup (1996)

9. The Incredibles (2004)

10. Space Balls (1987)

11. Best in Show (2000)

12. Swingers (1996)

13. Two Weeks Notice (2002)

14. Borat (2006)

15. Meet the Fockers (2004)

16. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

17. Christmas Vacation (1989)

18. My Girl (1991)

19. The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002)

20. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

21. A Perfect World (1993)

22. 2012 (2009)

23. The Osterman Weekend (1983)

24. Judgment Night (1993)

25. Into the Wild (2007)

26. Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

27. Race to Witch Mountain (2009)

28. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

29. Race with the Devil (1975)

30. Charlie’s Angels (2000)

31. Beavis and Butthead Do America (1996)

32. Date Movie (2006)

33. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

34. Slither (1973)

35. Happy, TX (1999)

36. Truth or Consequences, NM (1997)

37. Out of Omaha (2007)

38. Open Season 2 (2008)

39. Paulie (1998)

40. Night Skies (2007)

41. Beethoven’s 3rd (2000)

42. The Luck of the Irish (2001)

43. Twister (1996)

44. New York Minute (2004)

45. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982)

46. Friday the 13th Part 6 (1986)

47. Cars (2006)

48. Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)

49. A View to a Kill (1985)

50. Command 5 (1985)

51. Diary of the Dead (2007)

52. Super Troopers (2001)

53. Super Capers (2009)

54. Bride of Chucky (1998)

55. Zero Tolerance (1993)

56. The Terminator (1989)

57. Just Before Dawn (1981)

58. Hangman’s Curse (2003)

59. Domino (2005)

60. For Pete’s Sake (1974)

61. Near Dark (1987)

62. Going the Distance (2005)

63. Hot to Trot (1988)

64. Damnation Alley (1977)

65. Teacher’s Pet (2004)

66. Reeker (2005)

67. Idle Hands (1999)

68. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

69. The State of Things (1982)

70. Malibu Express (1985)

71. Death Valley (1982)

72. A Bug’s Life (1998)

73. Grind (2003)

74. The Food of the Gods (1976)

75. Taken (2002)

76. Strange Wilderness (2008)

77. Batman Returns (1992)

78. The Darwin Awards (2006)

79. Real Genius (1985)

80. Troll 2 (1990)

81. Campfire Tales (1997)

82. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

83. Rest Stop (2006)

84. Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back (2008)

85. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

86. Lake Dead (2007)

87. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

88. The Rage (2008)

89. The Good Son (1993)

90. Corvette Summer (1978)

91. Hitcher in the Dark (1989)

92. The Sender (1997)

93. Smile (1975)

94. Nightmare at Noon (1987)

95. Sweet Liberty (1986)

96. The Dead Pool (1988)

97. Blow (2001)

98. Dead and Breakfast (2004)

99. Armageddon (1998)

100. Meteorites! (1988)

If you’ve read this far, congrats. Way to stick with it. I often describe the RV’s windshield as a movie of America unfolding before me. Well, sometimes you have to make sure it’s clean: