Anyone who knows me know that every chance I get to champion Duel, I take. Not nearly enough people have seen Spielberg’s first movie, made originally for TV before getting a cinematic release, based on a short story by the great Richard Matheson. There have been few pictures, almost certainly no debuts, which have channelled suspense like Spielberg does with this story of Dennis Weaver’s travelling salesman being menaced on the road in his Plymouth Herald by a hulking, great, grimy oil tanker driven by an unseen psychopath.
It’s white-knuckle tension from start to finish and it’s masterful. Please, if you’ve never seen it, dig it out. You won’t be disappointed.