Duel: Spielberg’s First Movie

Ever see the 1971 movie Duel, with Dennis Weaver? I remember it as a kid. It’s worth a watch.

What made me think of the movie was that my son and I had been watching various movies by Director M. Knight Shyamalan. Then I remembered this movie from my childhood (I was nine in 1971) about a man who was being followed—terrorized—as he drove across the desert by a faceless man in an 18 wheeler. It seemed to me like it fit well in the Shyamalan-type genre.

So, I researched it only to find out that it was Stephen Spielberg’s first feature-length movie! I rented it on YouTube.

I won’t tell you all about the movie but here are some things to look for:

• At one point Dennis Weaver (the main character) stops at a gas station and makes a phone call from a phone booth. If you look closely—it isn’t there for long—you can see a young Stephen Spielberg’s reflection in the phone booth glass.

• The car in the movie is really cool! It is 1971 Plymouth Valiant.

• The main character, Dennis Weaver, runs towards the terrorizing truck. Notice that he is an excellent runner! He was a track star at the University of Oklahoma and even tried out for the Olympics.



Categories: Movie Trivia

Tags: , ,

5 replies

  1. I remember that movie too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not only did I LOVE that movie, but I have tried to find it several times to watch it again to no avail. The ending is really cool: you are not 100% sure if the bad guy is really dead……

    Liked by 1 person

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