Duel (1971)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  13 November 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 43,766 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


When the headlights of a truck become the eyes of a psychopath. 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?


Steven Spielberg says that many European film critics found abstract concepts in the film, such as class struggle in America, but he considers it High Noon (1952) on wheels. See more »


When Mann is at the first gas station, the Plymouth lettering on the hood is made up of individually attached letters. In all subsequent shots however, the badging on the hood of his car is actually a one piece chrome badge with the Plymouth letters stamped on it, instead of the individual lettering as seen before. 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 Interactive Film Quiz (2006) See more »


Brush Those Tears from Your Eyes
Written by Al Trace (as Clem Watts), Oakley Haldeman and James Lee
Published by MCA Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back on the Highways...
4 April 1999 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

DUEL is Spielberg's JAWS of the highway, a raucous nascar race of a film that was "made for TV". Usually, the phrase made-for-TV makes me ill, but Universal TV executives had no clue what they had here. It was so good, the film got its fitting recognition in Europe, where it was released theatrically. Spielberg's own idol, director David Lean, praised the film's suspense and excitement. A testimonial from Sir David Lean is enough to get any career going. DUEL begins from the point of view of a driver, and never lets up. The fear Dennis Weaver encounters consists not only of the monster truck itself, which is on an unexpected death chase, but of the inability to see who (or what) is behind the wheel.

It seemed like a great episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, and Rod Serling would've been proud. Speed kills and you may never pass a slow truck on the highway again after seeing this. There is no character development, no humor, no identifiable characters, but in this case, who cares? It is only 90 minutes long and Spielberg's goal is to make you tired. To make you experience what this everyday salesman is going through for NO apparent reason. Besides a shark in the ocean, I really can't think of another more frightful situation to be in.

The truck itself is sinister looking, almost resembling one from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The only remnant of a human being in the truck is an arm. The arm waves much like the hitch-hiker in the famous TWILIGHT ZONE episode. Weaver is cheesy and silly looking in his Peter Fonda-esque shades, but it is a sign of the times. You don't necessarily find yourself rooting for him to escape alive. Basically, you are held prisoner by Spielberg's web of suspense, and stay wide-eyed the entire time. Great fun to watch on big or small screen.

RATING: 8 of 10

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Recent Posts
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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