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Duel (1971)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  13 November 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 43,143 users  
Reviews: 301 user | 119 critic

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by a malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.



(screenplay), (story)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Mrs. Mann
Eddie Firestone ...
Cafe Owner
Lou Frizzell ...
Bus Driver
Gene Dynarski ...
Man in Cafe
Lucille Benson ...
Tim Herbert ...
Gas Station Attendant
Charles Seel ...
Old Man
Shirley O'Hara ...
Alexander Lockwood ...
Old Man in Car
Amy Douglass ...
Old Woman in Car
Dick Whittington ...
Radio Interviewer (voice)
Carey Loftin ...
The Truck Driver (as Cary Loftin)
Dale Van Sickel ...
Car Driver (as Dale VanSickle)


While traveling through the desert for an appointment with a client, the businessman David Mann from California passes a slow and old tanker truck. The psychotic truck driver feels offended and chases David along the empty highway trying to kill him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Fear is the driving force. See more »


Action | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 November 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duellen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$450,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It was Dennis Weaver's role in Touch of Evil (1958) that convinced Steven Spielberg that he would be perfect for the role of David Mann. See more »


Many times when David Mann looks into his rear-view mirror, a crew member can be seen ducking in the backseat of his car. See more »


[first lines]
[radio playing, driving down the road, approaches the truck]
[David coughs, coughs again]
David Mann: Talk about pollution.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A scene plays out over the credits where David Mann sits on the edge of the cliff throwing stones. See more »


Featured in It's Murder! (1977) See more »


The Duel (end titles and end credits)
Written by Billy Goldenberg
Published by Leeds Music Corporation (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hail on to the Truck driver ... truck driver FREAK!!
8 October 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Steven Spielberg's first long feature film (sort of) may only just be a TV-movie, its influence, impact and entertainment value overwhelms the majority of big screen productions. The brilliance lies in the simple plot and the complete lack of background information you're denied. The film is a powerful collaboration between the superb writing skills of Richard Matheson (The Incredible Shrinking Man), the stunningly sublime cinematography by Jack Marta and the over talented vision of Steven Spielberg as a director. Duel easily is one of the ONLY movies ever made that'll keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning till end. What begins as an average day for salesman David Mann quickly turns into a merciless showdown between himself and a seemly driverless truck somewhere in a nearly forsaken countryside. The eerie shots of a giant, boisterous and filthy-looking truck versus the classy red Plymouth Valiant are the most tense road-rage images I ever beheld and they're guaranteed to make your blood pump faster!

The film is terrifically cut in half when the protagonist stops a roadside restaurant to analyze his uncanny situation. While recovering from the previous assault, Mann notices that the monstrous truck is also parked outside the diner so one of the unfriendly guests present there more than likely is his assaulter. This sequence, brilliantly illustrated by pan camera movements and atmospheric voice over sound, perfectly proves how an amazing director Spielberg is. Especially when you bear in mind he only was 26 at the time Duel was released and he mostly worked with a crew of veteran filmmakers. This simply is one of the most action-filled movies ever made and a timeless classic. THIS is how we like to see Spielberg! Giant monstrosity! Filthy trucks or man-eating sharks…not the over-sentimental and melodramatic crap he's delivering nowadays.

72 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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