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Driving down a deserted Southern California highway at a safe and sane 55 miles per hour, David Mann (Dennis Weaver) steps on the pedal to pass a large gas trailer truck. Moments later, the truck is back, dangerously tailgating Mann before abruptly cutting him off. For the next 90 minutes, Mann and the never-seen truckdriver are pitted against one another in a motorized duel to the death. Author Richard Matheson conceived Duel after a similar experience with a reckless trucker. The story first appeared in Playboy magazine, then was picked up for adaptation by the producers of The ABC Movie of… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This 1971 made-for-TV movie was one of Steven Spielberg's auditions for Jaws, and the same slickly impersonal shock effects prevail."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The film's rusted, growling tanker truck is an obvious predecessor to the man-eating Great White of Jaws. And it's every bit as terrifying."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"Steven Spielberg's debut feature is a ripper"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Superior made-for-TV thriller directed by Spielberg."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"A lean, efficient thrill ride that taps into "road rage" long before the term existed."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Simply a rivetingly murderous game of cat and mouse that keeps you on the edge of your seat."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"... 'road rage' taken to new heights of exploitation by the boy wonder."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The film pits the awesome talents of Richard Matheson ... with Spielberg, delivering one of the best genre films of the past 50 years."
‑ Lucius Gore, ESplatter
"Duel demeure donc encore aujourd'hui l'un des meilleurs exemples de l'agilité de Spielberg à si bien combler un manque de substance par ses grands talents de raconteur."
‑ Jean-François Vandeuren, Panorama
"[A] masterpiece of visual suspense that's hardly dated at all, more than 30 years later."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"Even without benefit of hindsight, Duel looks like the work of an unusually talented young director."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"At 24, Spielberg demonsrated his technical virtuosity with his first made for TV feature, a nail-biting suspenser of a salesman pursued on the roadby a mad trucker."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"An exquisite piece of streamlined suspense and action that clearly demonstrates that [Spielberg] was already in full control of his vision."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"pretty boring for Spielberg"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Not even Hitchcock could have shot or paced Duel any better. Spielberg understands precisely where to insert his silences and pauses, and when to make them restful or tense. He knows how to pour it on for the exciting chase scenes."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Duel on Rotten Tomatoes

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