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Film Studies 101
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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate ?
Cast
Jacqueline Scott
Directors
Steven Spielberg
Screenwriters
Richard Matheson
Running Time
90 minutes

EMPIRE ESSAY: Duel
Spielberg: one to watch on this early evidence


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EMPIRE ESSAY: Duel

Plot
David Mann is trying to drive his car across California. When he tries to pass a gas tanker, the driver somehow takes offence. At first the unseen driver just annoys David by continually passing him and slowing down. Then he starts playing mind games with David, tempting him to pass the tanker, only to prevent him when he tries. The story is seen from David's point of view, with commentary as he thinks to himself.


Verdict
A made-for-TV movie that proved so remarkable it received a theatrical release (first in Europe, then 10 years later in the US), Spielberg's calling card is as distinctive a piece of visual storytelling as you're ever likely to see.


Reviewed by Ian Freer

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