Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Duel Movie Review 78

This is a made-for-TV movie which also happened to be the first motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. It was released in 1971 and it is based on a short story by Richard Matheson. It stars Dennis Weaver and a large menacing truck.
David Mann (Weaver) is a businessman who is on the road driving for his job. He has an appointment to keep and he is minding his own business driving through California. He is driving along when he sees a huge truck ahead of him. He decides to pass it out as it is driving slowly. He is passed out by the truck which then slows down again in front of him. He decides to overtake it once again and this time, the driver blows his horn at David who gets a fright. He begins to realise that he may have made a mistake in passing out the truck. He pulls into a gas station and he makes a call to his wife. We find out that David does not like confrontation and we guess that that will be key later on. He sees that the truck also stopped at the gas station.

After this, an eerie game of cat- and- mouse begins between the mild- mannered David and the looming and monstrous truck. The driver begins playing games with David and he begins to try and make David crash. David stops at a diner and it is obvious that he is an outsider. The locals look at him and he gets the idea that he is not welcome. David sees the truck outside, empty. He looks around and tries to figure out which one of them it is. He thinks that he has found the man but he is wrong and he has to leave the cafe. He doesn't get to see the driver as he has jumped into his truck and is on the road before David can see who it was.

The next part of the movie is when the driver of the truck begins to get serious . He tries to push David's car in front of a train but David escapes just in time. He tries to call the police, but the truck comes at the phone booth and David just dodges death. The truck seems intent on destroying David and he is worried. David tries to speed off and get away from the truck, but it is no use. He cannot outrun this huge hulking truck. David rigs the car with his briefcase leaning on the accelerator so the driver of the truck thinks that he is in it. There is a canyon and David sets the car going in the direction of the truck. The driver can't resist trying to destroy the car and David, but he ends up going over the canyon instead, destroying the truck and killing whoever was in it. David breaks down in laughter after his ordeal and he just watches as the truck is burning.

I loved this movie because it is all action and suspense. We never get to see just who WAS behind the wheel. We are left wondering WHY the man in he truck went crazy and why he targeted David. The story is so simple, yet it is great fun and I am surprised that this was directed by Steven Spielberg who is always associated with those big-budget movies. This is a very entertaining movie and I really have to give it a 9/10.


The Igloo Keeper... said...

The truck never existed.

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