Duel Review

Figure 1 poster (1971)

“Duel” (Steven Spielberg, 1971) is a surprisingly thrilling film about a businessman being terrorised by an unknown oil truck driver. The film comes off surprisingly thrilling because of its slow start, as David mann (Dennis Weaver) is commuting to work . an oil rig seems to be messing with him, until it tries to kill him; David's internal monologue begins and this is the film starts to pick up.

The sound design in dual seems to be overshadowed by the thrill and excitement of the cars battle, or rather duel for Supremacy. Maslin argues that because of this the film “might almost have been a silent film”(Maslin, 1971) its true that there is not much speech throughout the film but this minimal approach makes the genuine fear David is experiencing more real. In terms of score “Duel” is not very memorable, but the score does its job everything fits in place and is not overbearing.
Figure 2 Oil truck (1971)

“Both vehicles are important characters”(Justice, 2005) in hindsight this statement is very true both cars have very distinct personalities. David's car comes of time and meek barely being able to reach 70 Miles per hour without wobbling and losing control, whereas the oil truck is a monster somehow extremely fast even with its huge size. the truck has seemingly had other victuals before David's car, which can be seen through the extra number plates; the problem with this theory is that a american cars can have different number plates for different states. Some would say that this is a David and Goliath story, ironic because of the leads name and also somewhat forced.
Figure 3: the Chase (1971)

The fear of the unknown plays a large role in this film, both the viewer and David have no idea who the driver is, nor what he(she?) looks or sound like. "knowing the fear of the unknown scares people the most" (Frebowitz, 2011) the drivers identity is kept secret. The truck driver becomes a supernatural entity, although his motives are never revealed but one thing is clear he is not completely "evil"; some of his action help others possibly to show humanity and remove the idea of him being a purely destructive force.

illustrations list

Figure 1: poster (1971)[poster] At: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d4/Duel_poster.jpg (Accessed 21/02/20015)

Figure 2 Oil truck (1971)[film still] http://forgottenflix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Now-thats-one-scary-truck..jpg(Accessed 21/02/20015)

Figure 3: the Chase (1971) [film still] http://download.gameblog.fr/images/blogs/23816/70245.jpg(Accessed 21/02/20015)


Frebowitz, J (2011) Duel: Ten things to know about the movie. At moviefanfare.com (Accessed 16/02/2015)

Maslin, J. (1971) 'SPIELBERG'S 'DUEL,' FOUR-WHEEL COMBAT. At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9804EFD81138F936A25757C0A965948260 (Accessed 16/02/2015)

Justice, C (2005) Duel review. At:http://classic-horror.com/reviews/duel_1971(Accessed 16/02/2015)


  1. Hi Ryan,

    Couple of things here - firstly remember to italicise your quotes.
    You seem to have a variety of fonts going on here, maybe where you have cut and pasted...make sure you are consistent with the font you use. There are also a couple of sentences that don't really make sense - maybe a case of autocorrect choosing the wrong word perhaps? Here, for example, ' David's car comes of time and meek', and here, 'the truck has seemingly had other victuals before David's car'...was that meant to be 'victims'?
    Make sure that you use capital letters correctly, for proper names and at the start of sentences; this helps make your writing look more professional and academic.


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