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
The Valiant used in the film was actually 3 different cars. For the television release there was a 1970 with a 318 V8 (as witnessed by the 1970-only "V-EIGHT" spear-type emblems on the forward portion of the front fenders), and a 1971 with a 225 slant six. When the added scenes were filmed, a 1972 Valiant with a 225 Slant Six was used. This makes sense, due to the fact that the television showing was in November 1971, 3 months into the 1972 model year. All three Valiants had 1971-only, Plymouth-only wheel covers. The license plates on Weaver's Valiant were actually incorrect: 149 PCE, in the 1970 & later blue/yellow colors, would technically have to be 1976-issue ("P" = 1976). However, this isn't necessarily conversely an incorrect item. Many vehicles used variations of this license number (the van from the "A-TEAM" used number "1PCE149"). 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 »
[radio playing, driving down the road, approaches the truck]
[David coughs, coughs again]
Talk about pollution.
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The man with the sandwich is referred to as "Hoagy Man". See more »
The TV movie that was a true cinematic experience.
I can recall vividly watching this movie as an ABC movie of the week at the tender age of six.Very few movies at that time in my life had the ability to captivate me.Duel was one of the fortunate few.We have a mild mannered businessman,excellently played by Dennis Weaver,on his way to a very important appointment.Suddenly,there is trouble ahead in the form of a ruthless tanker truck driver.For unexplained reasons,the truck driver singles out David Mann(Weaver)as the recipient of whatever rage and torment possesses him.Along the way,we have an apparently unsympathetic diner crowd,among whom this mad truck driver may have mixed in with while David was freshening up in the diner's restroom.Which one of them is it?Did he ever come in at all?Did he just linger outside,adding to David's torment?Then,there is the lady at the Snakerama,whose reptile displays are leveled when the truck driver realizes that David is trying to notify police in her phone booth.David ends up searching for strength he's not sure he possesses in order to combat this unseen menace.I love the idea of the driver never being seen,as the unseen is often more frightening than what is thrown in our face.This film may have been made for television,but it played like something you would see in a movie theater.I understand that it was in fact,released in theaters in England later on after Spielberg added some more footage.I am envious that they got to see this Hitchcock like thriller on the big screen.I consider it a grand edition to my DVD library.Great stuff.
2/28/2006 R.I.P. Dennis Weaver (1924-2006)
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