Duel (1971) Macabre month of horror #4

Here’s one you might not have heard of. Duel is a car chase movie, but instead of a chase it is quite literally a car “Duel”.

The main character David Mann is played by Dennis Weaver. He is driving a little car and being attacked by an unknown person in an 18 wheeler.

A tagline for the film is “The most bizarre murder weapon ever used!” This makes me think of the Tarantino film Death Proof‘. I wonder if this movie might have been his inspiration.

Perhaps the strongest point of the movie, is the tension and intrigue.

We don’t know exactly why he is being attacked, or who is even doing it. The tension keeps building and building. The tension winds up and is released in a great ending which was ripped off in “Joy Ride“.

The film is directed by Steven Spielberg and was actually made as a TV movie. Spielberg had directed many shorts and some TV episodes, but this was his first feature length endeavor.

The main character is actually very interesting. He is a deeper character than was needed, and this is certainly appreciated. There is a whole sub plot regarding the main character and his wife who is back at the home with his children.

This sub plot is unnecessary, but adds an extra level to the character. Dennis Weaver does great, really a very good performance. The character is very interesting and has a great narration throughout the film.

Of course the movie contains a great deal of driving, and this is before everything was done with CG. I always prefer real cars, and real stunts over CG.  All the car work is very well done. A classic 70’s car movie like “Gone in 60 seconds“, or “Dirty Larry Crazy Mary”.

This if more of a thriller than an action movie. As a thriller it is great. I really suggest checking it out if you are able to find it.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. jmount43 says:

    I do believe that “Duel” was part of the inspiration for “Death Proof”.


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