Steven Spielberg’s first full length movie Duel is now available in this 50th Anniversary Edition with all new art work by Graham Humphreys (“England’s greatest living horror film artist” – Proud Galleries).
In 1971 Spielberg’s secretary Nona Tyson handed him a copy of Playboy saying “I think this is right up your alley”. She was referring to Duel, a short story in the magazine by Richard Matheson. Spielberg landed in the director’s chair for Duel to be made as a television movie. But after editing, the unusual decision was made to film extra scenes for a theatrical release – giving Spielberg the leap from TV to the cinema.
Spielberg was a fan of silent movies and created one of the most uniquely terrifying “characters” in movie history: a massive, roaring 40-ton truck with more sheer menace than most flesh-and-blood villains.
The truck was cast just like any other actor, Spielberg auditioned seven different semi-trucks settling on a 1955 Peterbilt 281, because the front of the truck resembled a face.
Dennis Weaver stars as the travelling salesman waging a desperate battle for survival after he is mysteriously singled out for destruction by the truck. The filming took about 11 days in which time Weaver drove more than 2000 miles.
Stunt co-ordinator Carey Loftin, designer of legendary car chase sequences in Vanishing Point, Bullitt and The French Connection drove the truck.
David Mann is driving from California to meet a client. After overtaking a rusted truck, he finds himself being chased and terrorized by it.
Cast: Dennis Weaver and a 40-ton-truck.
A Conversation with Director Steven Spielberg,
Steven Spielberg and the small screen,
Richard Matheson: Writing of Duel,
Trailer, Photograph andPoster Gallery,
All new Graham Humphrey’s sleeve.