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Duel 1971

  • Steven Spielberg
  • November 10, 1971
  • August 12, 2003
  • 90 mins
  • English
  • Action, Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Fear is the driving force.
Travelling businessman, David Mann, angers the driver of a rusty tanker whilst crossing the Californian desert. A simple trip turns deadly as Mann struggles to stay on the road while the tanker plays cat and mouse with his life.


All 2 Comments

Despite its TV origins and simple plot structure, Duel works extremely well as a piece of cinema and showcases Spielberg’s early ability to craft a series of brilliantly sustained tense action sequences despite the minimal budget he had. The lack of time and money also shows Spielberg at his most creative - peppering the film with some clever tracking shots around the vehicles whilst reusing footage from different angles to give the illusion of distance travelled and creating a sense of urgency and speed throughout from the way in which the vehicles were shot. Weaver’s performances is also excellent, from his initial uncertainty and panic to a finale that leaves him slightly unhinged and desperate and he is probably one of Spielberg’s most relatable everyman - his initial need to rationalise and avoid confrontation despite what is happening and his final manic reaction to the resolution mirroring how most people in the audience would probably react. A voiceover to elaborate on his thoughts at certain points in the film and some scenes to provide background on his character prove unnecessary and are the film's only false note.

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Simple but effective. One of the first movie of Steven Spielberg and you can already discover his talent. The truck remind me a lot of The Wages of Fear, I don't know if he has taken his inspiration from this movie but i like it. A must see !

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