Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Flicks: Duel

Duel (1971) was Steven Spielberg's first feature-length movie. The story: a traveling businessman is terrorized by a tanker truck driver on the open road.

This movie is brilliantly edited for suspense and action. The excellent camera work packs a wallop with incredible closeups of the truck and car in various angles, not to mention the long shots of the desert location and amazing sound editing. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in that editing room.

Dennis Weaver's performance was outstanding. A henpecked, insecure, nerdy businessman takes on a psychotic truck driver. A Spielberg masterpiece.


baygirl32 said...

I have never seen this movie. One to add to the rental list I think

Luana Krause said...

baygirl: Definitely watch this one. Very cool! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great holiday weekend!

Craig Edwards said...

It's a terrific movie - one of the best TV movies ever made! Talent is as talent does - and Spielberg shows he had it from the word go. I wonder though - which version you watched, Luana? The original airing was about 74 minutes long, as most TV movies were then, to fit a 90 minute slot with commercials. Later, for a feature release in Europe, and for later airings to fit a 2 hour slot the filmmakers went back and shot about 16 minutes of extra footage to make the running time an even 90. There was a longer title sequence, an additional scene of the truck trying to push the car into a train at a crossing, and against Spielberg's wishes a scene where Weaver calls home from a payphone. Apparently the longer version is the one on DVD. I prefer the leaner and meaner 74 minute one, but the 90 is still a fantastic movie to watch, albeit 20% longer and a tad slower. In any case, well chosen! Thanks for posting it Luana!

Luana Krause said...

Craig: I've seen both versions but I didn't know the story behind it. Thanks for filling me in. I recently watched the short version on TV and I was thinking "where is the scene with the phone call and the truck pushing the car on the tracks?" I thought they just took it out to fit the TV time slot. I didn't know it was added later...interesting! On another note, my grandfather remembers seeing Dennis Weaver when Weaver he went to the University of Oklahoma.