Duel is and always will be one of my all-time favourite movies.
It spawned an entire genre of cat and mouse road flick thrillers such as The Hitcher, Breakdown and Deathproof to name a few. It was Steven Speilberg’s feature-length directorial debut and the screenplay was penned by the legendary Richard Matheson, (The Incredible Shrinking Man, I Am Legend). Duel was originally aired as a television film back in 1971, but garnered such a popular fan base it was later edited and released theatrically and has recently been recognized as one of the most underrated thrillers of all-time
The movie stars Dennis Weaver, as a businessman on the road traveling to California to meet a client. But he soon finds himself chased by the, mostly unseen, driver of a monstrous truck who terrorizes him for simply overtaking him on the motorway. That’s it, that’s the entire premise to this classic movie which delivers a nerve-shredding performance from Weaver and a masterclass of tension from Spielberg.
Now an inevitable remake is in the works and the rumour mill has produced an intriguing suggestion that Spielberg might be returning to direct the movie with Tom Cruise as lead. Nothing much else is known at such an early stage but if this were to happen it would mean the first movie pairing of these two since War Of The Worlds back in 2005.
Would I, as a fan of the original, be adverse to a remake directed by Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise? Absolutely not, it sounds like the perfect match.
Incidentally, the entire movie is currently free to watch on YouTube. I’ve embedded it above. Enjoy.