Duel (1971)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  13 November 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 43,812 users  
Reviews: 302 user | 120 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


The most bizarre murder weapon ever used! 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?


Spielberg stated that he approached this movie in the manner of a Toho monster movie, replacing Godzilla with an 18 wheeler tanker truck. See more »


In an early scene, when David Mann stops to get gas, he makes a phone call to his wife. His glasses are bent and distorted. In following scenes, when he has them on again in the car, the glasses appear undamaged. 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

The man with the sandwich is referred to as "Hoagy Man". See more »


Referenced in Amber Alert (2012) 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

City-slicker's nightmare
21 October 2003 | by (St. Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Gleefully sadistic little thriller. Though the young Mr. Spielberg's hand is evident in many places (the economic storytelling style, the visual wit), the film's tone probably owes more to screenwriter (and 'Twilight Zone' veteran) Richard Matheson. The story has all the itchy paranoia of Matheson's best work, with Dennis Weaver's fussy little city man confronted by Tex-Mex suspicion at best, and relentless, illogical horror at worst, as he travels from one oasis of civilization to another for an important meeting. 'Duel' is essentially a city-slicker's nightmare, concentrating collective fears of wilderness and the mad souls who choose to dwell there. But at the same time it lightly satirizes those urbanite attitudes, and Weaver's Mann is often made to look laughable, with his silly necktie, and his little Plymouth Valiant, and his prissy, civilized approach to his problem. Spielberg revels in the black comic elements of Matheson's narrative, and the result is the perfect suspense/thriller tone--one never knows whether to laugh or scream. If the story lags a bit towards the end, and if the conclusion is rather a simple one, the film is still a model of economy and tone, and it features one of the most memorable villains in suspense-film history--one that weighs forty tons. 9 out of 10.

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Theatrical release in USA? Dr Wily
If the car had been a BMW M3, Audi TT, or a Porsche 911 GT3 ....... Josef_Schweik
Mann was a driving menace allen-406-128450
Significance of his name.. Mimimine12
Remake? hackraytex
The bus and the Truck Driver's motive MarvinCandle
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