Chris Stuckmann: Duel – Movie Review

Chris Stuckmann reviews Duel, starring Dennis Weaver. Directed by Steven Spielberg.

About ChrisStuckmann

Quick, funny reviews of movies and games, new and old.

17 comments

  1. I love this movie. I’ve always been a nightdweller and I was probably 12 as well when I often watched BBC around midnight. I saw a lot of my favourite movies that way for the first time (like Clockwork Orange). There I saw Duel for the first time too, but only partially because it had already started. And that happened a few times in the years there after until I decided to just rent it and see the whole thing. Only then I figured out it was a Spielberg flick 😛 I love this movie and it’s so well done with a tiny budget and and little time. The truck is still driving by the way, it has changed owners a few times, but it still roams the highways scaring the shit out of everyone nearby. (But only check this after seeing the movie).

  2. Minor Spoiler.
    The movie doesn’t end the way you expect it to, but that makes it unique from all the cut-and-paste action movies of the last three decades. It also fits the movie quite well once you think about it. It definitely feels 70’s.

    I did not know this was a Spielberg movie. Thanks for the info, Chris.

  3. I’ll definitely check this movie out asap.

  4. I’ve never heard of this movie before. I may check it out.

  5. Beware: those who look up this movie on imdb will have the truck driver reveal spoiled.

  6. Fuckin’ A, this movie is good.

    I am really glad to see you review it.

  7. Love this movie so much. I only saw it within the last 6 months when TCM aired it. So good! So suspenseful! I’ve recommended it now to my friends.

  8. After watching this movie, if you want a good laugh check out season 1, episode 12 of The Incredible Hulk. They totally took a bunch of footage straight from Duel and cut the Hulk into it. Plus I think they actually had the same truck to use as a prop and a similar car so they could make it look like David Banner is driving it. I guess it was all property of Universal, so that’s how they could get away with it.

    • TV production companies, with movie company ties, will occasionally borrow footage from other works, notably movies, to save production costs. Universal Television was known for this as was evidenced by numerous episodes of ‘Airwolf’, ‘Knight Rider’ and of course ‘The Incredible Hulk’.
      In the first season episode of ‘Knight Rider’ – “Not a Drop to Drink” – the show’s producers purchased (the rights to?) a scene from 1978’s ‘Superman’ because it was cheaper than recreating their own scene.

      • This is true. But it’s usually not quite so much footage from one source into one episode. And if you watch the show, it’s pretty clear that the whole plot is just an excuse to use the footage. I think the fact that they actually had the truck to use was the clincher.

        And the way they use the footage is just hilarious. They got lighthearted banjo music playing in what WAS the tense scene where the guy first passed the truck. Then thug#2 is on the floor of the car looking for the gun and the bullets for like 5 minutes as an excuse as to why his head isn’t visible in the GOOD footage. If you have nflix, give it a look. It’s more than just the standard use of stock footage. It’s downright overt.

        • Yes, I remember seeing some of it on SciFi Channel around ten or so years ago. I had seen ‘Duel’ about eight to ten years prior so I recognized the car and truck right away. IMDB says both were made by Universal Television so that explains how they had easy access to the footage and apparently the two vehicles, or near exact models.
          I’m sure one of The Incredible Hulk’s producers were in a pinch for an episode and they got the bright idea of using ‘Duel’ footage and then writing an episode around it. (I don’t know if this was actually common practice at that point or just the beginning of it.) I’m sure it saved a bundle on production costs.
          One thing important to note is that IMDB and Netflix differ slightly on the episode number. YOU are correct in that Netflix shows it is episode 12. IMDB shows it is episode 9. The title is ‘Never Give a Trucker an Even Break’ in case anyone is interested in watching it.

  9. The face of the truck also reminds me of the truck from the first jeepers creepers movie, there was a creepy looking truck chasing the protagonists and it looked like it had a twisted face as well

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      According to Spielberg, Duel is really a slasher flick. The truck driver is a serial killer, the truck is his murder weapon, and Dennis Weaver is simply his latest victim. The license plates on the front bumper represent states in which he’s killed people . . . like notches on his gun.

  10. Never saw the movie but the short story it was based on was required reading in one of my English classes. Always felt it was a bit pretentious.

  11. Spielberg was my freaking age in this wasted modern 21st century time when he directed this film.

  12. Oh God how I wish I could at least half as talented as Steven Spielberg.

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