Duel (Collector's Edition)
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Steven Spielberg directs this high-velocity thriller about a motorist terrorized by an evil truck. Spielberg's first full-length movie, Duel, helped jumpstart the director's big-screen career, with a gripping, action-packed story hailed by critics as a film that "belongs on the classics shelf reserved for top suspensers" (Dailey Variety). Dennis Weaver stars as the traveling salesman waging a desperate battle for survival after he is mysteriously singled out. Praised for its deft use of relentlessly mounting psychological tension, Duel features one of the most uniquely terrifying "characters" in movie history: a massive, roaring, 40-ton truck with sheer menace. A few years later, the action of Spielberg's blockbuster hit Jaws would echo Duel's tale of a lone hero in a heart-stopping fight to the finish against a monstrous, inhuman foe.
This is the TV movie that put Steven Spielberg on the map, shortly before he made The Sugarland Express. Working from a script by Richard Matheson, the film stars Dennis Weaver as a mild-mannered traveling salesman who unintentionally angers the driver of a semi truck. Suddenly, the truck is not only riding his tail but trying to run him off the road. No matter what he does (pulling over, stopping at a diner, calling the cops), he can't get rid of it. Spielberg makes the wise decision of never showing the driver, even as he cranks the voltage on the film's suspense elements. As a result, the truck itself takes on an air of satanic menace--even a personality of sorts--as it seems to hunt its human prey. Spielberg made a lot out of a little, suggesting just how skilled a storyteller he would become. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story centres around a man driving home on a lonely desert highway only to become the target of lunatic in a transport truck who continually stalks and terrorizes him through out the film.
Brilliantly directed. Easy to see that Spielberg was destined to be a master film maker.
Based on the story by author Richard Mathason author of "I am Legend", "Somewhere in Time", "What Dreams may come", "Nightmare at 20,000 ft", "Real Steal"
Dennis 'McCloud' Weaver plays David Mann, a frustrated California travelling salesman driving through California's scrub brush and deserts to make an appointment. He's having problems at home, centered around his wife's perception of him as something of a nebbish. Then he innocently passes a slow-moving truck. All hell follows.
You can view this a great thriller with a sub-text that deals with a modern man's battle with his own feelings of inadequacy and emasculation. You can view this as a thriller of paranoia and terror, as the early stages of Mann's battle with the truck-driver (never fully glimpsed at any point during the movie) repeatedly put Mann in situations in which no one believes that he's in a duel to the death with a crazy person.
Weaver is flat-out terrific, sympathetic and squirmy. Screenwriters aspiring or otherwise should look at this film as a model of how to effectively use voiceover narration in a movie. We're privy to Mann's internal dialogue at points, and it's beautifully done. The scenery is suitably deserted. The truck, as much a character as Weaver, is about as sinister a vehicle as one could want, grimy and menacing and way, way too fast for its weight class.
Duel taps into very specific fears related to driving, and driving around large trucks.Read more ›
This is a wounderful piece of film making, however those that cannot see beyond their favorite typical shallow predictable ending type films stay away from this movie its too hot for you.
This movie will have you on the edge of your seat as a maniacal truck driver tries to kill a simple motorist who makes the mistake of annoying someone with a much bigger vehicle. To make matters worse, the chase occurs in the California desert where there are almost no telephones, police stations, trees to hide behind, or anything else to go to for help. Remember, this is in the days before cell phones.
"Duel" was not meant to be a prediction of the future, a movie with a social message, or a warning about where our society was headed; just an entertaining roller-coaster ride for its watchers. Nonetheless, this 1971 movie turned out to be a startlingly accurate prediction of the rise of road rage, a phenomenon that later started in Southern California and is now common nationwide.
This is the movie that passes the time quickly.
Most recent customer reviews
A guy in a car is chased by big rig, frightening. Uses all elements available.Published 2 months ago by ellison
Always liked this first movie by Spielberg. I had the VHS which was getting worn,and thus ordered the DVD version.Published 11 months ago by Ron RIchard
Classic. Spielberg does a wonderful job of building tension.Published 14 months ago by jamie fuller