Steven Spielberg has been one of the most famous film directors since the 1970s but started his career working in television on TV series such as Night Gallery and Columbo and was given the chance to direct this movie of the week called Duel, based on a story by Richard Matheson.
Travelling businessman David Mann (Dennis Weaver) angers the driver of a rusty tanker while crossing the Californian desert. A simple trip turns deadly, as Mann struggles to stay on the road while the tanker starts to play cat and mouse with his life.
This was a young Spielberg going all out to prove what a great director he could be, the cinematography, masterful editing and fast pace really crank up the tension as the truck almost become a supernatural force intent on destroying this one innocent driver. The TV film was very successful and got great reviews, so the company decided to release it in cinema’s in Europe and added just over 15 minutes of new material to make it feature length.
This longer version is what is on this new Blu-ray from Fabulous Films. The 1-85: 1 image is solid with great colours and the audio is a remix 5.1 surround which serves the film very well. It’s a shame they could not have included the original shorter TV version as an extra. The original 4:3 image does not seem to be compromised in this version and overall it is a very nice looking and sounding release.
Extras are a fascinating interview with the director about the making of the film and how he looks back on it with great affection as it gave him the start he wanted so badly. Two other extras include Spielberg on the Small Screen and an interview with writer Richard Matheson.
A good solid release of a classic TV movie.
FILM : 8 PICTURE : 8 AUDIO : 7 EXTRAS : 7