Duel (1971 film)

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Well, you never know ... you just never know. You just go along figuring some things don't change ever, like being able to drive on a public highway without someone trying to murder you.
For the general concept of persons fighting in arranged combat for honor, see Duels.

Duel is a 1971 television movie about a salesman driving through the California desert who is suddenly attacked by a large tanker truck after passing it on the deserted road.

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Richard Matheson, based on his short story.
Fear is the driving force. Taglines

David Mann[edit]

  • Well, you never know...you just never know. You just go along figuring some things don't change ever, like being able to drive on a public highway without someone trying to murder you. And then one stupid thing happens. Twenty, twenty-five minutes out of your whole life, and all the ropes that kept you hanging in there get cut loose, and it's like, there you are, right back in the jungle again. All right boy, it was a nightmare, but it's over now. [pauses] It's all over.
    • An edited version which uses most of the above clip in its entirety, is featured prominently in the Doomtree track 'Duel' featuring Cecil Otter.
  • [In Chuck's Cafe] What if he followed me out, though? Started after me again? I'd be right back where I started; even if I got a lead, he'd overtake me soon enough. He's got some, some, some souped up diesel; my car's just not that powerful, I just can't break eighty and ninety miles an hour. As soon as I stop concentrating, I'd go back to sixty or seventy like I always do; it's a habit, I can't help it, he's just... [pauses] take it easy...just, take it easy.


Gas station attendant: Looks like you could use a new radiator hose.
Mann: [To himself] Yeah, where have I heard that before... [To the attendant] I'll get one later, thanks.
Gas station attendant: You're the boss.
Mann: Not in my house, I'm not.

Cafe owner: [as David Mann exits cafe restroom and enters dining area] Are you all right?
Mann: Yeah, I'm fine.
Cafe owner: What happened out there?
Mann: Oh, just a slight complication.
Cafe owner: Oh? Looked like a big complication to me. [Others laugh]

Mann: [mistakenly thinking that the man eating a sandwich in the cafe is the truck driver harassing him] Look, uh... I want you to cut it out.
Man in Cafe: [bites into sandwich, chewing] Wha?
Mann: Just... just cut it out, okay?
Man in Cafe: [bites into sandwich again, chewing] Cut what out?
Mann: Now come on, let's uh... let's not play games.
Man in Cafe: What the hell you talkin' about?
Mann: I can call the police.
Man in Cafe: [stops eating, looks surprised] Police?
Mann: You think that I won't? You're wrong, mister. I mean if you think you can just... just take that... that truck of yours and use it as a murder weapon and uh... killin' people on the highway... you're wrong! You got another thing comin'!
Man in Cafe: [shakes head, fed up] Man, you need help.
Mann: [Mann slaps the sandwich out of his hand] Don't you tell me I need help!
Man in Cafe: [punches Mann in the stomach]
Cafe owner: Heyy! [Rushes over and hurriedly pulls the trucker off Mann]
Cafe owner: Look at 'im! Who've you got to fight? You got nobody!
Man in Cafe: [Grumbling] I lost my sandwich...
Cafe owner: I'll buy you another sandwich, all right? How about a beer? I'll buy you a beer. [The man leaves, and the owner comes back to Mann] All right, you get outta here, huh?

Mann: That truck driver's crazy, he's been trying to kill me, I mean it!
Bus Driver: Well, mister, if I was to vote on who's crazy around here, it'd be you.

[The truck smashes into the Snake Lady's phone booth]
Mann: Call the police!
Snake Lady: With what? That's the only phone I got!


  • Fear is the driving force.
  • The Killer's Weapon - A 40 Ton Truck
  • Terror in your rear view mirror.
  • When the headlights of a truck become the eyes of a psychopath.
  • The most bizarre murder weapon ever used!
  • A duel is about to begin between a man, a truck and an open road. Where a simple batle of wits is now a matter of life and death.


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