Duel (1979) starring Dennis Weaver. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Richard Matheson.
On his way to an important business meeting miles from home, David Mann (Dennis Weaver) encounters the biggest asshole on the highway – the driver of a rusty big rig hauling flammable fuel. The smoke-spewing diesel driver goes so slow Mann is first forced to pass him. Once by, Mann goes happily on his way until out of nowhere the rig flies by as if he’s standing still only to slow down again, blocking his way. And so begins the non-stop chase scene between a grimy 1955 Peterbuilt 281 and a red 1970 Plymouth Valiant, in Steven Spielberg’s directorial debut movie.
It hardly seems like a movie I’d like, but I loved it! This is road rage at its finest as the Plymouth and Peterbuilt barrel down straight-aways and around hairpin turns in the California desert. Other vehicles best beware to stay out of the way of these two. A diner, gas stations, and racing locomotives are all used as Mann tries to figure out who his opponent is and why he’s chosen Mann to harass, building the tension minute by minute. Mann’s attempts to outwit the driver (whose face was never see — or do we?) are met by simple, but effective, counter attacks until the very end.
Great film that I highly recommend. It kept me engaged and guessing the entire time. Watch the trailer.