Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
Fear is the driving force.
Travelling businessman, David Mann, angers the driver of a rusty tanker whilst crossing the Californian desert. A simple trip turns deadly as Mann struggles to stay on the road while the tanker plays cat and mouse with his life.
Steven Spielberg's feature film debut is a highly underrated masterpiece which presents the master director making remarkable use of his talent, creativity & passion for filmmaking to craft a mystery-thriller that remains nail-bitingly tense from start to finish and is the first entry in what would later become one of the most celebrated film careers of all time.
Initially conceived as a TV film & later turned into a full-length theatrical, Duel concerns a business commuter who is stalked & terrorized by a psychotic truck driver throughout the Californian desert highway for no specified reasons. The story is mostly narrated visually & makes minimal use of dialogues or music yet there is an eerie atmosphere it retains throughout its runtime which is brilliantly executed.…
Duel is probably the most literal example of "nightmare fuel" I have ever seen.
Despite the TV movie limitations, Steven Spielberg has managed to convey an illogical yet completely visceral thriller better than most filmmakers today. And considering that this is widely recognized as his feature debut, that's even more impressive. The masterful editing, carefully planned shots, and insane premise create an engulfing atmosphere that only gets more tense as it goes along. Not to mention, the fact we never see the truck driver adds a sense of mystery to the proceedings, therefore placing the audience in the same point of view as our protagonist.
Watching this, I got the impression that Spielberg wanted to create the perfect picture of…
Welcome to the begining of Arielrocks5's "The Months Of Spielberg" marathon!
(See the full list right here: letterboxd.com/arielrocks5/list/the-months-of-spielberg/)
Today, we have what many would consider his first feature, "Duel". A made for TV film that actually was so impressive at it's time, it even got a small theatrical release.
Basic premise is about a man on his way for something ends up being stalked by a crazy truck driver that starts out as playfully moving in his way on the highway, to then trying to run him over. Now he has to ether outrun him or end up becoming road kill.
And that's it. Just two guys in cars driving for an hour and twenty minutes. And what makes it…
I'd like to report a truck driver who's been endangering my life.
Duel is a travelers worst nightmare.
Sure you can get caught by a murderous band of backwoods cannibals, but at least you have a chance to escape.
One of my worst nightmares is one that involves me being pursued relentlessly by an unstoppable enemy without anyone else to help. I mean nightmares in a literal sense.
I've had that nightmare before.
It was called Terminator.
But seriously, there is just something so dreadful and tense about a chase that will never end. The situation breathes urgency and wits into the characters and gives them a fight for their life that only exists in films. This is a scenario…
Duel, while it's plot may not hold up to scrutiny, is a hell of a good time and a fascinating early indicator of the genius Spielberg would develop over his career. The story is as simple as they come, following a businessman's terrible mistake of passing an oil tanker on the highway in a world not yet under the rule of law enforcement. The giant, menacing rusty tanker is an obvious predecessor to Jaws, made an intimidating force through simple feats of camerawork and staging. There really isn't a whole lot to delve into with this one, the only "theme" perhaps being masculinity and it's role on the roadways. But make no mistake, this thrilling, taut piece of cat and…
Steven Spielberg's directorial debut is, surprisingly, one of his best films. Based on a short story, this made for TV film actually got a limited theatrical release when it was made as well, and has recently hit blu-ray, and I must say that the transfer is stunning. Being a TV movie, the film is actually changed from its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio to the modern 1.85:1 ratio, making it look more like a natural modern television program for modern widescreen TVs. The HD quality really makes the film look even more like a natural TV movie, and I loved the "soap opera effect" that the high frame rate my TV gave off produced.
Dennis Weaver's psychologically fascinating role as David…
Creeeepy movie, a jeepers creature type movie, and very interesting artistic movie. When a person is chased by a old rusted truck, it takes a time to DUEL.
You can see right from the beginning that Speilberg was going to be a hell of a director. He takes a lot of the feel from this movie and perfects it in Jaws just a few years later, but this movie is still incredibly tense and well-crafted, for such a simple idea.
Now that's road rage
Imagine being 24 years old and being this good at anything. Sort of unbelievable that a film this visually robust was shot in 13 days.
This taut, sparse thriller was Steven Spielberg's first theatrical feature film. Written by the great Richard Matheson based on his own short story, much has been written about this film. All I can say is check it our if you can. You wont be disappointed.
This is a love letter to Hitchcock!
I believe Spielberg has said this is 'Psycho' on wheels or 'The Birds' on wheels...I wouldn't put it any other way. A mini masterpiece itself at such an early stage in his career, the young Steven Spielberg shows off more creativity and experienced storytelling than the average contemporary blockbuster movie.
Churning and rocketing through an aggravating antagonist, the audience picks it's side instantly much thanks to the direction of Spielberg and the simplest of screenplays (in a positive way). From it's first few shots capturing the only glimpses of the technological society for a long run, and underlining perfectly is the bright yet juxtaposed thrilling score commonly found in any of Spielberg's finest.…
This little talked about Spielberg film functioned as his first real film, a made for tv thriller made for 450,000 dollars.
Like the majority of Spielberg's works the plot can be roughly surmised in a few sentences.
David Mann is a middle aged yuppie on a business trip in California.
On a lengthy and haunting stretch of highway he is stalked by a grungy tanker truck, which eventually becomes a full on cat 'n mouse tale.
And that's it, an unseen driver stalking this everyday man, nothing really changes for the entire runtime, but it feels continuously fresh.
If someone told you this was a Spielberg film you wouldn't believe them, you'd be convinced it was some Carpenter related work.…
This first Spielberg manifests so many of the strengths and weaknesses we see throughout his career: the premise is simple genre fare (big truck terrorizes small man in car on desert highway) and Spielberg does lots of fun pure cinema stuff (if always grounded in basic generic tropes) without dialogue, but then screws it up whenever he feels the need to add some "serious" stuff (here, as always, a dumb hectoring wife and kids who fuel the male protagonist's emasculation). In many ways this reminded me of George Miller's overrated recent Mad Max movie and Budd Boetticher's underrated Ranown cycle with Randolph Scott shot in Lonesome Pine, both of which are better than this. There was a point in the…
Okay, okay-this film is incredibly campy. And yes, Spielberg has matured immensly from his simpler early works. But, hey, that didn't stop me from loving this film. The overall simplicity of the plot and cast takes away the confusion of a more complex film, and lets the viewer focus completely on the well-crafted tension on the road. The film has its flaws- the action is redundant, the motives are unclear, and the acting is somewhat mediocre-but dont shy away from it. It's cool to see how Spielberg started, and it's a lot of fun to watch
Movies that are slightly off.
GDT has recently joined twitter, and has started tweeting a series of films he describes as " A daily list…