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.…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Even in his early days, Spielberg could make a good movie. This film does a lot with very little and easily the best movie which has a truck as a villain. (Though admittedly it's only competing with Maximum Overdrive for that title)
Highly effective thriller from first timer Spielberg.
Talk about edge of your seat. This movie will have you a nervous wreck from begining to end. Spielberg channels his inner Hitchcock with this INCREDIBLE film that perfectly shows how to make an effective film on a shoe string budget. The camera work is memorable and Dennis Weaver gives one hell of a performance.
It's clear from the initial opening scene that it's confidently assured in visual style and knows exactly where it want's to go to tell it's story. For a simple story I was quite taken aback by the progression the story takes, which is unrelenting in style for the first ~30min before taking the time to examine it's characters and themes. His well emulated and well defined style actually restrains the comically evil truck from being an absurd joke (although there's plenty of humour associated). It's a genuine physical threat which cannot be avoided, only confronted. It's also equally menacing in how it depicts the emerging middle class, the newly emasculated man David Mann (Weaver), the bar scene being the best…
Debut directorial by Steven Spielberg. Terrifically best, beautiful plot, full of thrill. The terror that it creates is too shocking and one cannot but keep thinking about who might be having such grudge against a man who later wants to go his way
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Mad Max: Fury Road + Thelma & Louise = Duel
It's a potboiler, it's all steam. Craft without content. Ideally there would be some jagged edge somewhere from which one could derive a metaphor, but Spielberg polishes this down to bone. B-
A good directorial debut
Effective little thriller. Economical action. Very little dialogue. Has something to say about masculinity. I dig it.