Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

Master storytelling

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It’s Indy 4 Weekend. Whether or not you’re planning to check out the latest installment in the adventures of Indiana Jones, you might be interested to see a bit of suspense its director created early in his career: 1971’s The Duel.

In this low-budget, made-for-TV movie, which Steven Spielberg made when he was 23 years old, an ordinary businessman played by Dennis Weaver is hounded by an unseen driver of a tanker truck. The story is played for maximum tension and thrills, and I find it particularly frightening because I have an abiding fear of being run off the road by a semi. (The result of dozens of trips across the state on the PA Turnpike? No doubt.)

The full film is available on YouTube, broken into 5 minute chunks. The clip above is the modified opening, with some extended footage from the DVD release. YouTube also has a number of parodies of The Duel; this 74 minute story makes an impression on you.