DUEL (1971 US) D: STEVEN SPIELBERG W: RICHARD MATHESON P: GEORGE ECKSTEIN
Dennis Weaver is a traveling salesman in his car, terrorised by a filthy old tanker truck whos driver (stunt veteran since the late 30s, Carey Loftin, who worked on THE FRENCH CONNECTION and VANISHING POINT the same year) is never seen. This ABC TV Movie Of The Week is very well done, a sign of Spielberg's obvious early talent (earlier tv work included an important episode of COLUMBO, and episodes of NIGHT GALLERY) that peaked with JAWS. With busy actor and stuntman (also since the 30s) Dale Van Sickel as Weaver's double. Based on Matheson's short story (THE OMEGA MAN was out the same year too). The Cinematographer was Jack A. Marta. Billy Goldberg provides the score. Spielberg (who added an additional 16 mins. to the 74 min. running time for theatrical play in Europe) made SOMETHING EVIL (1972) next. His real feature debut was the amateur 1964 attempt FIRELIGHT (made when he was just 17), screened only once and since partially lost (the story preceded the events in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)).

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