Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Richard Matheson and based on his short story.
Is Steven Spielberg’s 1971 made-for-TV thriller “Duel” the prototype for his 1976 summer blockbuster “Jaws“? It would be easy to argue that that would indeed be the case. Both are adapted from another medium; “Duel” from Richard Matheson’s short story and “Jaws” from Peter Benchley‘s best-selling novel. Both feature a roller coaster ride of a plot and a silent predator that strikes without warning. In “Duel”, the hapless protagonist is David Mann (Dennis Weaver from “McCloud“) and he is terrorized by a mysterious 18 wheeler hell-bent on his demise. “Jaws” features a great white shark roughly the size of an 18-wheeler that terrorizes the community of Amity, hell-bent on devouring every last swimmer who steps foot in its ocean. Finally, both films feature men who must take desperate action to live another day.
It’s been over 40 years since “Duel” first had TV viewers clutching their armchairs and holding off on their bathroom breaks. Since then Steven Spielberg has directed a long list of some the world’s greatest movies. Some, like “Jaws” and “Jurassic Park” are great simply because they provide a departure for us from our everyday worries and woes. Films like “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan” show that while Spielberg may have the heart of a kid, he is still able to make films about subjects that are all too adult in theme.
“Duel” falls in the former category of Spielberg’s filmography. It’s a thriller of a film that doesn’t require a lot of thought on the part of the audience. It’s fast-paced fun and full blown terror colliding at 90 miles per hour down a dusty desert highway. Better yet, it’s the type of movie that makes us remember what movies are all about in the first place and that is escape.
- He Is Legend: It’s Richard Matheson’s Birthday (dangerousminds.net)
- The Night Stalker (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Read a sneak preview of the comic adaptation of the crazy trucker tale Duel [Comics] (io9.com)
- ‘Jaws’ Blu-Ray: Steven Spielberg Classic To Be Remastered; Hitting Shelves This Summer (news.moviefone.com)
- Steven Spielberg (cgvalley.wordpress.com)
- Duel (Spielberg) : the map of the road of the narration (spacefiction.wordpress.com)
- Top Blu-ray summer releases (lfpress.com)
- Inspired by the JAWS story (joanneguidoccio.com)
- Be Afraid Be Very Afraid Not To Miss JAWS Coming To BluRay For The First Time! (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Restored ‘Jaws’ to screen at 2012 Cannes Film Festival (examiner.com)
- Book Review – Nightmare at 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories by Richard Matheson (chyrondave.wordpress.com)
- Shawn Levy Replaces Steven Spielberg and Brett Ratner To Direct ‘The 39 Clues’ (slashfilm.com)
- Stephen King and Son Embrace ROAD RAGE with IDW (newsarama.com)
Posted on 05/15/2012, in Movies and tagged Dennis Weaver, Duel, JAWS, Jaws (film), McCloud, Peter Benchley, Richard Matheson, Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg, Television film. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.