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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Looks like you could use a new radiator hose"
Originally a 74 minute 1971 US TV Movie, this DVD has the 90 minute (86 in PAL) theatrical version made for European audiences the following year. The three main additional scenes are:

* Mann telephoning his wife from a gas station
* Entire school bus scene
* Truck pushing Mann's car towards a speeding train at a level crossing

Also, this...
Published on 1 Aug. 2009 by oooo Candy Davis

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars this young director is destined for great things
A travelling salesman and a mysterious truck that pursues him are the only ingredients in this minimalist story that marked Steven Spielberg's first major directorial feature. Originally made for television, Duel comes across as a really well made Indy film.

Writer Richard Matheson concocted an exercise in paranoia, featuring Dennis Weaver as the salesman, in...
Published on 22 Aug. 2011 by bizmandan

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Fresh Today As it Was 40 Years Ago, 19 Jan. 2015
By 
Thespionic "Thespionic" (West Country) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I hadn’t watched this film for 40 years! Back then I recalled it as a cutting edge thriller, one that we could all relate to. We’ve all had juggernauts behind us on the motorway, and it’s a thoroughly unpleasant experience!
This was Spielberg’s first film. It took 2 weeks to make, as he already had a TV blueprint to work from; it cost less than 500,000 $ to make. It has certainly stood the test of time? It remains as fresh today as it did then.
Many of the location sites from the film (cafes, garages, tunnels etc.) are still in use today! Even the truck survives!
The film was shot in the deserts of South California & Angeles National Forest.
Dennis Weaver - ‘Chester’ in Gun Smoke and the detective, ‘McCloud,’ was brilliant as the unsuspecting and then increasingly concerned victim of the ‘menacing’ tanker truck! Weaver died in 2006, aged 81. He leaves us this excellent thriller to remember him by.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME, 17 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I had not seen this film before and it's one of my other half's favorites. Well I was not disappointed, it really is fabulous. the tension is epic and the filming genius. A must see for al those who haven't already. But hey even if you have seen it, watch it again!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endlessly gripping, 9 Sept. 2010
By 
CJ Mann "cJlovesJazz" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I've had this movie on VHS, then on pirate DVD (though I didn't realise when I bought it) then on long-awaited US official DVD.

I watched it yesterday and though this was about the 30th time I've seen it, I still found myself getting nervous at certain moments, wondering how the chase would pan out.

If that's not the definition of a gripping thriller, I don't know what is. These days when I watch 'Duel' I can take a little bit of time to admire the photography too. Has there ever been a setting more atmospheric than Chuck's Café?

Brilliant - my favourite movie and I hope my hearing and eyesight allow me to get drawn into this story many more times...
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent example that an action packed thriller needs neither special effects, nor a convoluted story for brilliance, 9 Oct. 2011
By 
AK (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Spielberg's debut feature length movie was initially not produced for cinema screens but subsequently rerelased due to the roaring success it was. The premise is truly simple, an overstressed, meek salesman in an equally meek slant six Plymouth Valiant on his way to an appointment passes a truck, starting off a cat and mouse game that then occupies the rest of the movie.

While this may come across as boring and one sided, Spielberg's direction, together with Weaver's acting really manage to make an excellent, multifaceted movie out of it.

Much has been said about the fact that the nemesis - the driver of the rusty, greasy tanker truck haunting Weaver (whose character is aptly named Mann) - remains unseen throughout, thereby allowing a multitude of interpretations in terms of motivation and cause of menace towards the meek opponent that is Weaver. In a sense a modern day viewer may not be as impressed by the approach as someone at the time the movie was released but it is effective nevertheless, and possibly one of the key elements turning this from an also ran road movie into a classic. The fact that the truck completely respects all other road users, even lends a helping bumper to the stuck schoolbus but still relentlessly hounds Mann, makes it even scarier.

The writing and acting that produced the range of emotions in the protagonist also deserve a mention. It is very easy to slip into Mann's shoes and understand him, he is definitely both interesting as a character and completely believable. The movie is PG rated and after seeing it I can understand how it would not be scary to children (hence PG) but how Mann's hopeless situation still produces a first rate thriller for an adult.

Finally, Spielberg's touches are the final component elevating the movie to greatness, some of the scenes (truck's wheels slowly rotating against a branch towards the end as an example) certainly matching the drama and tension of classics such as Once Upon a Time in the West -- Special Collector's Edition (2 discs) [DVD] [1969]. And while the ending may be somewhat predictable in 2011, I can imagine it being fresher when the movie was made in 1971.

If you enjoyed Vanishing Point [1971] [DVD] or Two-Lane Blacktop [DVD] this will definitely be a movie to add to your collection. If you are a Spielberg admirer, it is probably a must have.

The DVD offers some appealing additional features, too. There is the interview with Spielberg on the making of the movie, a short documentary on his work for the small screen, an interview with Richard Matheson, the writer of the story, as well as the trailer and some stills and posters for the film.

Overall a fabulous package and at this price an absolute steal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 2 Mar. 2011
By 
UK Filmbuff "filmbuff1382" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
There is no timewasting at all and the action starts within a short time. If you have ever experienced road rage, this has to be the worst case scenario and there seems absolutely no justification whatsoever.

An ordinary car, driven by an ordinary man (who is experiencing troubles in his ordinary life, with his ordinary wife) is set upon by a rusting hulk of a fuel tanker, on the open roads of the American desert. The menacing tanker even looks evil, with its rusting paintwork and old-time look and feel. However, this hulk packs a serious punch - it has power; an abundance of it! Whatever engine drives it, is almost unreal, because it seems almost unstoppable.

There follows a game of "cat and mouse", providing lots of suspense and action. Fear, anger, frustration and desperation lead to a sense of paranoia. Despite everything, we never actually see the face of the driver of the grisly, hulking tanker; he is almost a ghost, himself. However, he is real; others see him and interact with him, but the innocent driver of the beleagured car doesn't and neither do we, the captive audience.

Why is he tormenting this insignificant car driver? What has he done wrong? The answer is that we just don't know and that is where the suspense and mystery play with each other, to torment the driver and the audience alike.

It is hot, dry, dusty and uninviting and, on the open road, it is lonely.... save for the ghastly hulk of the tanker and his quarry.

Chase after chase ensue; help seems to hand, but that, too, is taken away from the small, lonely car driver. However, he is no complete fool; he has his wits about him, despite everything and, gradually, we sense that the tables may be turning; that the rusting brute may not be invincible after all. Perhaps there is a way out; perhaps the monstrous brute can be destroyed, after all, despite its seemingly supernatural guise.

You'll have to watch the film for yourself, to find out the ending. It is not disappointing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best low budget thriller movies made, 8 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
This is probably one of Spielberg's best films and it shows you that you don't need lots of fancy special effect and a huge budget to make a great film.

The story is simple a traveling salesman (Dennis Weaver) is just driving down one of those long desert highways in the US (a popluar scene for this sort of movie probably because of this film) and after he encounters a big rig which he just simply overtakes a few times ends up fighting for his life as it constantly chases him down whenever he sees it and ends up playing a game of cat and mouse.

What makes this film great is how Speilberg made it with such a small budget he only used one main character and cleaverly made the film so that you never see the truck driver directly. By doing this he saved money on a its tiny budget and made the truck itself look like the main villan of the film, this also makes it more scary as the enemy of the film is made to look unhuman. Other small details also improve it by using an old dirty looking Peterbilt truck with licence plates from its previous victims stuck on the front and the main characters car; a Plymouth Valiant which was known to be a slightly underpowered car this makes the "mouse" look a lot weaker. The main characters personality also reflects to this.

There are no massive over the top explosions and the car chasing in the film is very believable as there is no fancy stunt driving at insane speeds. There is also some fantastic but simple camera work that make it work to capture the tension. The movie also has a very minimalist soundtrack even in some of the chases to capture the realism and the final showdown between the trcuk and the main character is one of my favourite scenes from films.

Overall this is a fantastic film and can give inspiration to anyone wanting to go into the media business as it shows that you don't need masses of money for a good film. At the vert least you will get 90 minutes of thrills out of one of the best car chase movies made
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still holds up as a great film today, 9 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
A made for TV movie from the 70s produced on a low budget and by a director who had never been heard of before, what are the chances that this film would still be great today. Surprisingly, this is still an excellent film that is thrilling and gripping from start to finish. Many things have changed in the decades since this was released but the core threat still works because anyone who has driven has had to deal with hostile drivers. Of course the film is actually about emasculated males and it develops this idea really well and ties it in nicely to the chase movie plot. Now that chase plot isn't really developed, guy gets chased by truck, he confronts it, the end. It should get old really quickly but due to Speilberg's excellent directing in terms of style, framing and pacing he makes every little scene captivating and brimming with tension. Also worth noting is that this is the extended edition and the extra scenes are really good, of special note is the previously deleted scene of the truck ramming the car towards a passing freight train while it's stopped at a level crossing. If I was nitpicking I could have done without the voice-over but it's not too obtrusive. It's more commercial than films like Vanishing Point as it is closer to a monster movie in genre and tone rather than a road movie. All and all this is a simple yet remarkably well made film that has stood the test of time and is still an excellent little movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as I remember it, 16 July 2013
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
This truly is an excellent film. All the scenes are there including the railroad crossing. The only missing item is the dinosaur roar at the end but to be honest I didn't really miss that. Although it is stated as 4:3 aspect when viewed fullscreen on my 16:9 tv it looks correct to me. I even measured the roundness of the truck headlights with a ruler in head on shots (that's how nerdy I am) and found that they were egual so it would seem to be 16:9.
The interviews with Speilberg and the writer were excellent too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely tense if ultimately disappointing, 22 Jan. 2013
By 
M. C. Cresswell - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very enjoyable watch. Hence the four stars. What makes it so tense is the simplicity of its techniques - little music, little actual narrative, just a genuinely scary - if uneven - set of circumstances played straight and shot prosaically.

Pretty much as soon as Dennis Weaver's beta male salesman hits the road, he is plagued by a truck, driven by a man we don't ever fully see, hell-bent on killing him for no reason. And that, folks, is it. What ultimately lets this film down is that it doesn't really develop beyond this, nor really does it add up. At the same time, it doesn't really aspire to the enigmatic: the truck isn't self-powered so you can forget the supernatural; we know there's a driver but there is no clue as to who he is or why he has a vendetta against our protagonist; and nothing about the Dennis Weaver character points to anything interesting enough to make him worth singling out for torture. There could be something else to uncover, but it only really ever takes you half-way.

As a 90-minute, early 70s feature though it will keep you entertained, and given that Spielberg hit the big time with Jaws only 3 years later, this is an interesting glimpse into what is to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thing of the Road, 10 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
After seeing Jaws in the seventies and realising that it wasn't just a sensational horror film but was a fresh and powerfully creative piece of film-making I looked around for other work by the Spielberg man.
The most 'talked about' of his previous work was, Duel. When I saw it at the cinema it was thrilling as a piece of brilliant cinema, and an object lesson in film directing technique because it did so much through storytelling with camera rather than dialogue, action and effects.
This dvd preserves the wide-screen format and has a very enjoyable set of extras. Spielberg's enthusiasm is contagious as he talks about this early work in the context of the staid practices of Hollywood at that time. The film industry was moribund and lazy and uncreative. I remember it as so. Spielberg probably did more than anyone to shake it up and bring life to it. The first assault was from the Italians with 'spaghetti westerns' then along came Spielberg who brought back shadows and light magic to the cinema screen together with an almost mystical type of suspense.
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