HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Duel Keep Death Off The Roads
Year: 1971
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizell, Lucille Benson, Tim Herbert, Gene Dynarski, Shirley O'Hara
Genre: Action, Thriller, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: David Mann (Dennis Weaver) is a businessman on a long distance car journey to his next appointment. On the way, he passes a huge truck whose driver takes a serious, inexplicable dislike to him, so much so that he tries to run Mann off the road. But it doesn't end there - it becomes obvious that the trucker will not be satisfied until Mann is dead...

Richard Matheson's screenplay for Duel is essentially an aggressive cross between a road movie and a monster film. Steven Spielberg originally directed it to be shown on television, but it was considered to be so effective that addtional scenes were added to increase the running time to ninety minutes, and the film was released to cinemas around the world.

The truck itself is a formidable beast: bulky, grimy, billowing exhaust fumes and sounding its horn, it would be threatening even if it wasn't trying to murder Mann. We never get a good look at the trucker, all we see of him are his arm as he waves Mann past (both times to potential doom) and his cowboy boots as he walks around the side of his vehicle. This adds to the air of paranoia and menace - we are never given a reason for the trucker's murderous intent.

Mann, on the other hand, is represented as weak: Weaver is nervous and sweaty, his voiceovers are panicky and desperate. The whole drama feels like a test of his manliness (or lack of it). In the scene at the cafe, after he has been run off the road for the first time, he has to take an aspirin, then grows to believe that the trucker is sitting amongst the cafe's customers with him. But when he picks a fight with the most likely suspect, Mann ends up cowering and beaten on the floor; he doesn't actually pick the right guy, either. In fact, nobody he goes to for help actually believes him or assists him, cranking up the tension all the more.

The chase scenes are superbly filmed, with the roar of the engines and fast cutting between the two opponents' vehicles as they speed through the dusty desert landscape. Details are added which make the action more exciting, whether it's the radio blandly playing country music while Mann's life is at stake, or the truck smashing through cages of rattlesnakes as Mann dives out the way. What could have been forgotten as just another TV movie became, in the hands of Spielberg and Matheson, one of the finest, most suspenseful, car chase films of the seventies.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12862 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steven Spielberg  (1946 - )

Currently the most famous film director in the world, Spielberg got his start in TV, and directing Duel got him noticed. After The Sugarland Express, he memorably adapted Peter Benchley's novel Jaws and the blockbusters kept coming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones sequels, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, 2005's mega-budget remake of War of the Worlds, his Tintin adaptation, World War One drama War Horse and pop culture blizzard Ready Player One.

His best films combine thrills with a childlike sense of wonder, but when he turns this to serious films like The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Bridge of Spies these efforts are, perhaps, less effective than the out-and-out popcorn movies which suit him best. Of his other films, 1941 was his biggest flop, The Terminal fell between two stools of drama and comedy and one-time Kubrick project A.I. divided audiences; Hook saw him at his most juvenile - the downside of the approach that has served him so well. Also a powerful producer.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: