Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
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.…
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…
Not so long ago on Twitter there was a hashtag meme going around called #verylastfilm, to which I gave the answer Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. A fine answer, it will always be one of the greatest films to my mind ever made, yet the answer I should have given was the Steven Spielberg film everybody forgets, his very first: Duel. You see it was my very first film too, well to some extent. Back in the 1980's as a young boy, my love of cinema was formed by several different kinds of films I first saw at a very young age - some were science-fiction such as Star Trek, others action such as James Bond or adventure such…
There is nothing worse when traveling than dealing with aggressive drivers.
But when the aggressor is in a huge dirty ass fume spilling semi truck it's just down right scary!
That's what this entire film is about.
Dennis Weaver as David Mann is a traveling business man headed to an appointment in another town and in a hurry, as he simply passes a semi truck a semi driven by a complete asshole and thats when a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues.
A tense filled 90 minute ride from Steven Spielberg that you won't soon forget.
Part of Humble Beginnings
I really feel Spielberg's next film should be set at a budget of $450.000, the same amount for which he made his debut.
It is very interesting to see where a big budget, commercial director like Spielberg found his footing. With Duel he already displays his skill in allowing the camera to tell a story. Duel's strength and unavoidable weakness lie in its simplicity. Because of the simple nature of he story and the small budget, Spielberg is forced to become creative and look for clever solutions to keep his audience entertained. And at that he succeeds admirably.
He manages to make this cat and mouse game tense, making you participant of the protagonist's plight, which…
A fine first outing for Spielberg, and so refreshing to see him work with a tiny budget compaired to the blockbusters he's known for. Hopefully he'll return to his roots one day.
That truck is terrifying, and even if the pace isn't all it could have been, this is still nail biting tension all the way through. Much of that tension is thanks to the inventive use of the camera, some really great shots here, and Dennis Weaver being a believable victim. He got me hooked and I could easily see me shitting my self if placed in that same situation. Actually, I pictured that plight many times while watching, wich goes to show how successful this little TV film really is.
Heavy on the tension and brooding, light on actual plot.
Introduced via a radio skit involving a submissive husband, the subtext of Duel is entirely concerned with regaining traditional notions of masculinity. Dennis Weaver's David Mann (Two N's so as not to confuse him with a "man") kowtows to his curt wife when he speaks to her on the phone, just as he skittishly confronts any face-to-face interaction he's involved in, suggesting a lack of confidence or a normative idea of male dominance. In addition to the radio skit, Duel also opens with a series of perspective shots from the grill of a car, establishing not only the shift from a populated urban local to an isolated desert, but also the internal nature of the film's thematics. Fitting, too, that…
His first feature film remains the purest incarnation of Spielberg's eye for thrilling filmmaking.
At first glance little more than a 90 min car chase but this early effort by Steven Spielberg shows flashes of the style and wry humor that Spielberg is known for. There's not much room for character development but the wide variety of situations encountered on this death race are enough to keep the audience interested all throughout and our protagonist is fleshed out just enough to render him sympathetic.
About 30 minutes in to the film I was realizing how nice it was to have so little dialogue yet still have learned so much about a character by his actions, and I then started to wish that this would have just gone full silent and cut all of the talking. All of the words are just a bit of narration that can easily be picked up by the viewer and some actions here or there. Spielberg shows right off the bat how much of a master he is at building tension through such a simple action of driving. Even at 90 minutes, this film still feels a bit repetitive and bloated at times since there is only so many variations on what they do.
Started my rewatch of Spielberg films with this classic from 1971. His first film, a tv one at that, is gripping from start to finish. Well acted, and the pacing is excellent. A rip roaring and intense 90 min ride.
Silence, utter silence, that is how I was after watching Duel. Spielberg has created an awesome to watch thriller here. Although dated, Duel is a suspenseful, intense and driving film that will keep you staring at that screen for the full 85 minutes (DVD version) with no distraction whatsoever until an ending that will leave you stunned. No amazing cinematography, no amazing technical wizardry, just trucks, cars and thriller suspense! This is a pretty cool film, just one big car chase, broken up in points by anxious roadside scenes. Duel is fun, childish, intense and suspenseful and I loved it. 4 big rigs out of 5.
so the truck driver is just a dick right?
Spielberg demonstrating competency and his future potential in what could easily be a one-note TV movie. Despite being a 90 minute chase movie, it is surprisingly engaging and compelling.