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 diesel locomotives pulling the Southern Pacific freight trains are too modern to be equipped with the deep single-note airhorns as heard in the film (they are no doubt canned sounds). Leslie or Nathan muti-chime horns can clearly be seen on the cab roofs of the locomotives and should have a blaring brassier tone. The horns are not blown in the normal 2 longs, a short and a long per regulation approaching grade crossings. 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 »
Spielberg shot an additional 16 minutes of footage (bringing the running time up to 90 minutes from the original 74 of the TV version), including a longer title sequence, the expansion of the gas station / laundromat scene towards the beginning of the film (the entire phone conversation with David Mann's wife being added), and the addition of a scene showing the killer truck trying to push Mann's car under a train at a railroad crossing. These new scenes can be noted by the fact that, for shooting the new footage, Universal had to purchase both a new red Plymouth Valiant and a similar Peterbilt semi truck. The Valiant is a 1972 model, which is very close to the original 1971 model in the original film, but not exact - and the differences can be noted in the film. See more »
The TV movie that was a true cinematic experience.
I can recall vividly watching this movie as an ABC movie of the week at the tender age of six.Very few movies at that time in my life had the ability to captivate me.Duel was one of the fortunate few.We have a mild mannered businessman,excellently played by Dennis Weaver,on his way to a very important appointment.Suddenly,there is trouble ahead in the form of a ruthless tanker truck driver.For unexplained reasons,the truck driver singles out David Mann(Weaver)as the recipient of whatever rage and torment possesses him.Along the way,we have an apparently unsympathetic diner crowd,among whom this mad truck driver may have mixed in with while David was freshening up in the diner's restroom.Which one of them is it?Did he ever come in at all?Did he just linger outside,adding to David's torment?Then,there is the lady at the Snakerama,whose reptile displays are leveled when the truck driver realizes that David is trying to notify police in her phone booth.David ends up searching for strength he's not sure he possesses in order to combat this unseen menace.I love the idea of the driver never being seen,as the unseen is often more frightening than what is thrown in our face.This film may have been made for television,but it played like something you would see in a movie theater.I understand that it was in fact,released in theaters in England later on after Spielberg added some more footage.I am envious that they got to see this Hitchcock like thriller on the big screen.I consider it a grand edition to my DVD library.Great stuff.
2/28/2006 R.I.P. Dennis Weaver (1924-2006)
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