Sunday, October 17, 2010

Duel (1971)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Dennis Weaver

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A duel is about to begin between a man, a truck, and an open road. Where a simple battle of wits is now a matter of life and death.

Plot: A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by a malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Absolutely!

This is Steven Spielberg's breakout directorial debut and it's a beaut! I love the American West setting. The desert is ideal for flicks like this and only adds to the tension (like 15 years later in THE HITCHER (1986)). Weaver was born to play this part. He perfectly embodies the meek-ish personality in his general look/physique and his acting. He's believable. There a shit-ton of action and suspense. Watching this and JAWS (1975) you can clearly see that they're made by the same guy. He had his own style from the beginning. It's masterful.

It's a TV movie, sure, but this was back when there were some kick ass made-for-TV movies. You'll be stunned by how much the camera moves and the great angles. George Miller (creator & director of the Mad Max movies) had to have been inspired by this film for his road pictures. There's no doubt. You can see it right there on the screen.

This one did so well that the studio had Spielberg add more footage and they released it to theaters! Man, I would love to see this one at a drive-in. Yowza! What a ride that'd be!

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