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 »
The original 74 minute version was filmed with a Peterbilt 281 (tag axle) that was re-powered with a 1674 270hp I-6 Cat, thus the yellow, horizontal air cleaner on the right side of the engine. The extra 16 minutes of the movie was filmed with a 351, which lacks this yellow air cleaner. This mistake is most visible when the truck comes out of the tunnel. 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 »
The 5.1 remix that's provided on both the DVD and Blu-ray release contains new sound effects for the engine sounds, along with several other small sound effects throughout the film (though the original mono mix is provided as well in DTS-HD 2.0). Plus the Blu-ray is presented in a matted 1.85:1 ratio to closer represent what was shown in theaters during its limited theatrical release, rather than the 1.33:1 broadcast ratio shown on ABC in 1971. 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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