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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.
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When he passes the truck just like he did many times before with other vehicles, all seems okay, until the truck speeds up and gets in front of him, slowing down and putting his brakes on just to annoy. That is when the tensions get high and things start to turn for the worse. I won't give the ending away, but those of you who have seen it, already know it's conclusion.
I wouldn't call this a horror movie or even a scary movie at that, it is more of a suspenseful, what would you do in a situation like that kind of movie. Well done! There is a little swearing in it, but other than that it is pretty tame compared to today's vulgarity and violence in movies.
If you want an early piece of 1970s cinema, you cannot ignore DUEL. Directed by Steven Spielberg, who brought you JAWS in 1975 and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND in 1978. The prime focus is on Dennis Weaver's character and what he does to confront this kind of evil that seemed to be an ordinary business day going to see a client. This Special Collector's Edition is pretty good for a DVD release.
I saw that there is a future Blu-ray release of this movie coming also, so hopefully it will address some of the issues some reviewers have with this movie edition. That being the missing original "growl" with the truck toward the end of the movie. I also noticed that the Coyote howl is not there also when he visits the "snake lady". There is a different sound to the truck trailer and I also think the fight scene in the café was edited a bit. I remember Dennis Weaver's character getting hit twice before he went to the pool table.
Special Features ~
English 5.1 DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Mono (Original Soundtrack), Captioned for the Hearing Impaired English
Subtitles are Spanish and French (You can select from the Main Menu)
A Conversation with Director Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg and the Small Screen
Richard Matheson: The Writing of DUEL
Photograph and Poster Gallery
Cast and Filmmakers
BLURAY UPDATE: Well, It is now in widescreen or 1:85:1 about. The sounds I mentioned above in the DVD version are now there in the BLU. I think I recall it more prominent in the TV version, but at least it is there now in the HI DEF. Cast and Filmmakers/Production Notes are not in the Bluray version.
It is excellent & worth having in one's collcetion!