In a Nutshell. Mini reviews of movies old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional trout.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Duel (1971)

All frequent motorists know the uneasy feeling of a larger vehicle riding their tail. In this story written by Richard Matheson, David Mann (Dennis Weaver) must contend with just that as he is psychotically pursued by a villainous tanker truck on his way to a business appointment. In a breakaway hit for then fledgling director Steven Spielberg, the use of harrowing camera angles and impressive stunt driving is key to the creation of suspense. Weaver does a nice job of playing the everyman. We feel his hopelessness after each futile attempt to escape, the sweat dripping down the back of his neck. Even though some superfluous scenes were added later to make it feature length, the film still strongly focuses on the highway duel.

4 appointments broken out of 5

3 comments:

Dr Faustus said...

I caught Duel on late night TV in the mid-nineties. I missed the first five or ten minutes and wondered for months afterwards what had actually happened during them.

It’s so long ago that I can’t score it with any certainty, but I really enjoyed it at the time.

Borderline said...

I watched it for the first time a few weeks ago. It's fairly straightforward, but the cinematography really elevates the subject matter. I like it better for not straying from the chase with much unwanted exposition

cuckoo said...

Saw this a few times on TV in the early 90's. I loved it as a wee lad.

Seeing Joyride makes one realize that JJ Abrams was destined to be Spielberg-lite.

Like Doc, it's been so long since I've seen it I can't give it a score.