In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
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 »
When Mann first enters the service station in Acton, his car is covered in shadow, indicating the sun is below the building to the right of his car. In the next shot the sun appears overhead as his car is covered in sunlight. 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 »
Gleefully sadistic little thriller. Though the young Mr. Spielberg's hand is evident in many places (the economic storytelling style, the visual wit), the film's tone probably owes more to screenwriter (and 'Twilight Zone' veteran) Richard Matheson. The story has all the itchy paranoia of Matheson's best work, with Dennis Weaver's fussy little city man confronted by Tex-Mex suspicion at best, and relentless, illogical horror at worst, as he travels from one oasis of civilization to another for an important meeting. 'Duel' is essentially a city-slicker's nightmare, concentrating collective fears of wilderness and the mad souls who choose to dwell there. But at the same time it lightly satirizes those urbanite attitudes, and Weaver's Mann is often made to look laughable, with his silly necktie, and his little Plymouth Valiant, and his prissy, civilized approach to his problem. Spielberg revels in the black comic elements of Matheson's narrative, and the result is the perfect suspense/thriller tone--one never knows whether to laugh or scream. If the story lags a bit towards the end, and if the conclusion is rather a simple one, the film is still a model of economy and tone, and it features one of the most memorable villains in suspense-film history--one that weighs forty tons. 9 out of 10.
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