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…
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…
Road rage is taken to the psychotic extreme in Steven Spielberg's made-for-TV movie Duel from 1971. A film that, despite its 450,000 dollar budget was well made enough to eventually get a theatrical release. Dennis Weaver plays a travelling salesman, who ends up in a highway cat and mouse game with a trucker who seems intent on killing him. I saw this once on TV as a kid, but I did not remember more than the basic plot and that it captivated me at the time. I rewatched it on Blu-ray and was interested to see if the plot was really as suspenseful as I recalled or if it would just grow tedious. Duel could easily have been a terrible…
Embarrassingly, when I saw this earlier this year I claimed there was no real thematic conceit to pick up on, despite every single line of dialogue of the first 15 minutes (including the wacky AM radio prank call) being centered on the feeling of emasculation. This is pure "Beta Male Realizes His Alpha Potential, Destroys His Enemy" myth-making. Luckily, the opening aside, Duel doesn't hit this enough to ever become distasteful.
You can still see the last remnants of the "camera in the refrigerator" art-school Spielberg flourishes here and there, but mostly this just works. B
This is Spielberg’s directorial debut and it’s actually really solid for a made for TV movie. The whole semi-truck as the villain in a horror set up is decent and even though I feel like this type of movie has been done a bunch, this is probably the best version I've seen of this type of story. Characters are lacking and I felt like a few of the character moments (between the main guy and his wife or whoever he phones) could've been done better. My other problem was just the ending felt a little abrupt. Still solid movie, glad I watched it.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Only Spielberg makes a 90 minute movie starring a homicidal truck labeled “FLAMMABLE”… but never blows it up!? That’s the stuff Michael Bay’s nightmares are made of.
Nevertheless, for a movie this intense there’s nothing more satisfying than Spielberg devoting what feels like a solid two to three minutes just watching this driver get his due.
All in all, I’m not sure if Dennis Weaver effectively plays a man shaking in his shoes, though I couldn’t help but picture Spielberg laughing off camera when Weaver starts shouting “why!? Why!?”
A good early effort from Steven Spielberg
While Spielberg may be more famous for movies like Jurassic Park and Jaws, which were monoliths at the box office, his debut in feature film is one on a much smaller scale... That being said though, that doesn't mean it was a less enjoyable movie....
Duel is the ultimate cat and mouse game played over a strip of road... with a businessman trying to get to a meeting on time, that seems to pass the wrong rig on the wrong day, and then becomes the object of its driver's road rage.
We all know what its like to have a driver not know the meaning of a safe following distance, its one of the things I hate while driving, but…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Steven Spielberg directs this pretty good TV film;
Dennis Weaver plays an individual named "Mann" on his way to a business trip, encounters some serious road-rage from a Diesel truck driver who won't let him pass him (this truck is blowing out all kinds of smoke, which is blowing in aMann's face.) Truck driver tries to make him look crazy, then he upgrades to actually trying to kill him. we never see the truck driver's face, just his hanging out the window arm. (Mann is in a Diner, He confronts who he thinks may be the psycho truck driver, but he is totally wrong! And gets decked for his trouble!)Mann's car starts to go out, so he finally comes up…
If you've seen Jaws watch Duel. If you haven't seen Jaws, watch Duel. The point is, watch Duel. Here you'll see where Steven Spielberg cut his teeth on suspense in this 1971 television film. Despite the original medium being the small screen, this low budget thriller has some huge aspirations and it shows with some really great direction. I like Dennis Weaver as a sort of regular guy forced to continually think on the fly to deal with the truck that's been menacing him. And yes I said the truck and not the driver. You only see an arm or boots of the driver, but the Peterbilt truck is the Star of the show. The film clocks in at a lean 89 minutes and never once outstays it's welcome. The only reason it gets 4 stars is because Jaws amplifies that suspense level 100 times greater. But this is certainly a great ride (Pun intended).
Still as good as it was the first time round. Duel is almost Hitchcockian in its suspense. The simple yet menacing narrative is masterfully presented, a true early triumph by Spielberg. Without much dialogue to chew on, Dennis Weaver still gives a fantastic, evocative performance. The atmosphere is filled with anxiety generated by the eerie music, nuanced acting and subtle camerawork. If you want to study how to make a great yet simple movie, Duel is the place to look.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…