Monday, September 27, 2010

Duel (1971)

Movie Title : Duel

Genre : Thriller

Starring : Dennis Weaver 
                (as David Mann)
           Carey Loftin
          (as the Truck Driver)

Director : Steven Spielberg

Released on : November 13, 1971

Story Line : Duel is a television film about a terrified motorist (Dennis Weaver) on a remote and lonely road being chased and stalked by a huge tanker truck and its unseen, psychotic driver (Carey Loftin).
David Mann (Dennis Weaver) is a middle-aged Los Angeles electronics salesman driving his Plymouth Valiant on a business trip. On a two-lane highway in the California desert, he encounters a grimy and rusty gasoline tanker truck, a Peterbilt 281, traveling slower than the speed limit and expelling thick plumes of sooty diesel exhaust. Mann passes the unsightly truck which in turn, promptly roars past him and slows down. Mann passes the truck a second time and is startled when it suddenly issues a long air horn blast.
The truck follows him into a filling station. While there, Mann makes a phone call to his wife. The gas station attendant mentions that Mann needs a new radiator hose, but Mann casually puts that off for the moment.
Back on the road, Mann allows the truck to overtake his Plymouth; the truck slows and soon begins blocking Mann’s path each time he attempts to pass the truck. At one point, the truck driver waves at Mann, indicating that he can overtake. When he does, he almost slams head-on into an approaching utility vehicle. Mann soon decides that the truck driver was trying to trick him into a fatal collision. The truck soon begins to tailgate Mann at high speeds over 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) ; forcing him to maintain his speed to avoid being hit by the truck from behind. The chase continues down a mountain road with the truck bumping him several times until the Plymouth goes off the road, colliding with a guardrail across the road from a diner. The truck keeps driving.
At one point of time Mann realizes that the psychotic truck driver might kill him.
Mann then stops at Sally's Snakerama Gas Station to call the police and refuel his Plymouth. Before he can make the call, the truck roars up and plows into the telephone booth, with Mann barely jumping clear in time. The truck proceeds to chase Mann as he is on foot, destroying Sally's Snakerama. Terrified, Mann jumps into his car and speeds away. Mann then hides behind an embankment off the road and sees the truck pass by, apparently without noticing him. After a long wait, Mann heads off again but is dumbfounded to see that the truck is waiting for him just around the bend.
Mann races up steep grades, putting some distance between himself and the truck. However, his Valiant begins to overheat when its weak radiator hose fails and the truck quickly begins gaining on him. Mann barely makes the summit and coasts down the other side in neutral as the truck bears down on him.
Descending at speeds too great to control, the Plymouth drives up a dirt road, and turns to face his opponent on a large hill overlooking a canyon. Mann places his briefcase on the accelerator and steers his vehicle directly toward the oncoming truck, jumping from the car at the last moment. The tanker hits the car, which bursts into flames, partially obscuring the truck driver's view. With a blast of the air horn the truck plunges over the edge of a cliff into the canyon below. Surveying the smoking wreckage, Mann celebrates his victory and then sits down, exhausted.

Ratings :
IMDB : 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes : 86 %

Run Time : 90 minutes

Trivia :
  • During the chase, a parked service car for a pest exterminator named Grebleips is seen. Grebleipsis the reverse of Spielberg .
  • When Carey Loftin asked Steven Spielberg what his motivation was for tormenting Dennis Weaver character, Speilberg told him, "You are a dirty, rotten, no-good son of a bitch." Loftin replied, “Kid you hired the right man."
  • Although Steven Spielberg wanted Dennis Weaver from the beginning, Weaver actually wasn't signed until the evening before the shooting was to begin.

1 comment:

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