on 21 April 2014
This is a long overdue book on the making of what is arguably the greatest TV film ever made. Not only that, but it is also an exemplary chronicle of the early career and development of a legendary film director. For both fans of Duel and Steven Spielberg there is much to savour here. There are archive interviews with the late star of the film Dennis Weaver and producer George Eckstein, but where the book really scores is the inclusion of brand new interviews with Spielberg, writer Richard Matheson (who sadly since passed away), editor Frank Morriss and composer Billy Goldenberg among others. You really get a sense of what a miracle it was to get the film finished on time with such a short shooting schedule and how everyone involved pushed the boundaries, often against the wishes of the TV network (the latter wanting a rather clichéd fate for the truck as opposed to the hypnotic climax the film-makers so brilliantly put on screen).
As well as the intelligently written text by Steven Awalt there is also the bonus of the original 1971 teleplay script as well as the additional scenes inserted into the 1972 theatrical edition, which was Spielberg's first big screen success in European cinemas.
An excellent and exhaustive book which I would highly recommend to fans of Steven Spielberg and the golden era of 1970s film-making.
on 17 August 2014
If you have any interest in cinema, then this book is a must-buy. That goes double if you are a fan of Steven Spielberg.
Steven Awalt has written a superlative account of the TV film that was deemed of such high quality that it was released theatrically outside the US. This book offers us a look at an underwritten period of Spielberg's career and one that is worth exploring as we learn about Steven Spielberg before he became STEVEN SPIELBERG. As the book's subtitle indicates, Duel was the making of Spielberg's career.