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A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.


Steven Spielberg


Richard Matheson (screenplay), Richard Matheson (story)
1,571 ( 116)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Dennis Weaver ... David Mann
Jacqueline Scott ... Mrs. Mann
Eddie Firestone ... Cafe Owner
Lou Frizzell Lou Frizzell ... Bus Driver
Gene Dynarski ... Man in Cafe
Lucille Benson ... Lady at Snakerama
Tim Herbert ... Gas Station Attendant
Charles Seel Charles Seel ... Old Man
Shirley O'Hara ... Waitress
Alexander Lockwood Alexander Lockwood ... Old Man in Car
Amy Douglass Amy Douglass ... Old Woman in Car
Dick Whittington 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


Terror in your rear view mirror. See more »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

13 November 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Duel See more »


Box Office


$450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Trademark:[Steven Spielberg] [images seen in a side-mirror] The truck bearing down on David Mann. See more »


When Mann's car starts acting up you can see someone (Spielberg himself per various sources) in the backseat of his car in the rear-view mirror. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Originally a made-for-TV movie, this Spielberg film was re-edited and lengthened for theatrical release in Europe, at the request of CIC (the distributor). 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)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Classy chase and intrigue thriller being the first movie directed by the great Steven Spielberg
20 March 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Steven Spielberg first movie, with fine performance from Dennis Weaver , giving one of his best ones as a driver who is at first harried and eventually horrified by a large truck. It results to be a fascinating killer game of the classic chase of the cat and mouse. A top-notch made for TV picture, concerning a relentless pursuit, including a provoking and relentless exercice in paranoia. It deals with a commuter businessman who is repeatedly threatened and attacked by an massive, huge trailer on an open desert highway. Along the way, the starring cannot see the face of the driver of the giant truck.

Spendid thriller originally made for TV plenty of thrills, chills, breathtaking chases, suspense, and many other things. There are not motivations, no explanations, except perhaps for a hint of allegory in the screenline and a tense visual suggestion about the ancient fight between the vulnerable, prancing knight and the lumbering, nasty dragon. Dennis Weaver, only protagonist, delivers a nice acting as a docile traveling salesman who takes on a malevolant juggerneaut, an ominous tractor-trailer causing wreak havoc.

It contains a nail-biting and suspenseful musical score by Billy Goldenberg. As well as a colorful and adequate cinematography by Jack Marta . Based on a story and screenplay by the prestigious novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson. The motion picture was very well and superbly directed by Spielberg, being his Film debut. And while in US premiered in Television, it was released threatically in Europe . Here Steven maintains the whole nightmarish situation at total tension and fever pitch. Spielberg successful film to be continued by a series of hits, such as : Sugarland express, Jaws, Close encounters in third phase , Raiders of the lost ark, ET, The color purple, Amazing stories, Empire of the sun, Hook, Jurassik Park, Amistad, Schindler list, Lost world, A. I. , Minority report, The terminal, Munich, War of the words, Indiana Jones and the last crusade and many others. Rating : Notable, better than average, 7.5/10. An absolute cracker that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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