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  • Duel
    • Duel
    • Runtime:90 min
    • Release Date:2014-11-23 01:43:34
    • Director: Steven Spielberg
    • Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Duel
Auhtor:

   

Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film also ranks among his
finest ones. We're very far from the childish atmosphere of E.T. (1982)
and the indulgence that will clutter several of his future works like
the Indiana Jones trilogy or The Terminal (2004) is definitely absent.
Bertrand Tavernier in his essay called "50 years of American cinema"
wrote that Duel would be very imitated in the future and he was right.
Just check John Carpenter' Christine (1983) or Joy Ride (2001). These
two films can't match the power of Duel.

Sourced from a story written by Richard Matheson and shot in a mere
fortnight, the strength of Spielberg's work comes from his ability to
create a fantastic climate from realistic elements. Is there anything
more trite for a driver to be taken in chase by a truck? But then,
comes Spielberg's inroad in the fantastic: we don't know why the truck
driver has a grudge against David Mann. Everything is seen from Mann's
standpoint and he's caught in a real downward spiral. He gradually
realizes that he can't call the police and he's taken for a madman (see
the sequence in the café when he looks at the customers with suspicious
eyes and his anger after a truck driver). His fear is worsened when he
realizes that the truck is only after him (see the sequence when the
truck pushes the coach full of children to help them). All the anxiety
and suspense are masterfully orchestrated by Spielberg who thanks to
his command; makes us forget that Duel was originally a TV movie.
Furthermore, the absence of stars only adds to the brilliance and the
credibility of the story.

Spielberg was only 24 years when he made his film, it presents all the
signs of a seasoned filmmaker ahead of his time.

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Steven Spielberg was just out of his play den and he tried to frighten
his nurse or babysitter. He tried in 1971 to build a thriller in the
road tradition, road rage and other brutalities. A poor man in his car
crossing some desert area in California is chased by a truck that was
not for him going fast enough and that he dared overtake. The chase
will be a full success without a real ending. It is not a masterpiece
just because of that. The frenzy is too long and hence too slow and
chaotic. A scene of that type cannot last more than ten minutes. And
the end does not bring any solution. The truck is destroyed, fine, but
the flammable product in it does not explode, shucks. But the driver
does not come out to haunt the dumb car driver who had defied him.
That's a shame and he stays there sitting in the desert with no car, no
water, a full blasting sun on his head and miles away from the closest
desolate road where there is one car every two weeks. What was he doing
on this road anyway? The best part is the rattlesnakes, the tarantulas,
the boas, and a few other creepy crawly animals, but this time it was
too short.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University
Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID

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- – - DUEL (1971) – - -

Steven Spielberg's CLASSIC… movie, only with one character on screen.
with lot of suspense not possible for any other directors, accept
Legendary Directors like Spielberg.

This movie is placed on my favorite movie's list in 1st place from
2008, i seen some 600 movies after this, but i cant remove this title
from 1st place.

Steven Spielberg's CLASSIC… movie, only with one character on screen.
with lot of suspense not possible for any other directors, accept
Legendary Directors like Spielberg.

This movie is placed on my favorite movie's list in 1st place from
2008, i seen some 600 movies after this, but i cant remove this title
from 1st place.

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