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
According to Richard Matheson, he was inspired to write the original short story "Duel" after an encounter with a tailgating truck driver on November 22, 1963, the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. See more »
When Mann arrives at the train crossing, he has clearly stopped his car directly in front of the gate, which has lowered due to the approaching train. After the truck starts pushing Mann's car toward the train, in both a shot from the far side of the train (when we see Mann's car in the spaces between the train's wheels) and in a wide shot from the near side of the train, we can clearly see that Mann's car is to the left of the train gate. If the car had still been in front of the train gate when the truck pushed the car past the gate, the gate would have broken off. See more »
[radio playing, driving down the road, approaches the truck]
[David coughs, coughs again]
Talk about pollution.
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A scene plays out over the credits where David Mann sits on the edge of the cliff throwing stones. See more »
Hail on to the Truck driver ... truck driver FREAK!!
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.
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