Duel

Continuity mistake: When David returns on his way after sleeping, he first wears his glasses in a shot, but when he suddenly brakes after seeing the truck stopped on the side of the highway, his glasses are gone. (01:03:07)

Continuity mistake: Towards the end of the movie where David begins to take advantage over the truck driver, and he turns on right towards the climb also breaking the cartels and fences, the weather changes in two shots: it's cloudy before and sunny immediately after.

Continuity mistake: After the truck tried to make David's car hit by the train dabbing it from behind, the car has a dent on the right rear light, but in a following scene, the dent has vanished. (00:53:09 - 00:54:30)

Continuity mistake: When David has the accident and crashes his car against the fences, he steps out of it and closes the door, but when he comes back to go on his own way, the car door is inexplicably open. (00:26:49 - 00:42:52)

Continuity mistake: On the truck cab's rear window, there is some sort of air conditioning unit installed. In some shots, such as the gas station scene where David Mann is on the telephone, or the railroad crossing scene, the air conditioning unit has a support structure to hold it in place. In the rest of the film however, there is not any support structure to be seen.

Continuity mistake: As David Mann starts fuming at the guy who he thinks is the trucker, the first shot shows him taking a sip of his beer; it is almost empty. As he says "What are you talkin' about?" its almost up to the brim.

Continuity mistake: During the entire movie each time the camera pans on the car's speedometer, the odometer clearly show completely different numbers in the cars mileage which are thousands of miles apart.

Duel mistake picture

Continuity mistake: At the end of the film, David Man comes to a dead end, so he spins the car around and waits for the truck to appear. When the truck appears from over the hill, take a look at the very next shot of the truck from the front, and you will notice that the large exhaust on the side of the truck has moved from left to right and back to left again. (01:21:00)

Continuity mistake: There are moments in the film, notably during the railroad and pushing sequence where the car's appearance - such as being dirty or clean, changes somewhat; the truck changes during that sequence as well. (The film was first broadcast on TV, then later released to theatres, and the push sequence was specifically filmed for the theatrical release. An identical '71 Plymouth Valiant was used, but a very different truck.)

Continuity mistake: When David Mann is at the service station, window cleaner is sprayed on his windshield from the driver's side (camera shot from inside the car). Within a milli-second of the spray stopping, the service attendant is seen on the passenger side of the car. We are only shown one attendant at this station.

Continuity mistake: Near the start of the film, David stops at the gas station. We see him get out of the car and he asks the attendant if he has got change for the telephone. We can see David take out his wallet and pull out a note with the other hand, then puts his wallet away. Then the camera angle changes and his wallet is back in his hand again and he puts it away again. Also you never see the attendant take the note out of Davids hand. It just disappears. (00:10:45)

Continuity mistake: When David crashes his car into the fence at Chuck's cafe, it shows that it was the passenger side that crashed into the fence. The driver side is undamaged. However when David exits his car to help the bus driver, there is significant damage to the driver's side of his car. (00:26:40 - 00:44:25)

Continuity mistake: When David Mann is flagged down by the bus driver, the window of the rear driver's side door is up. After Mann's 'just bounce it loose' speech, the window is down and remains down for the rest of the scene.

Continuity mistake: After the incident where the truck driver told David Mann to pass, when there was a car coming the other way, watch the rear view mirror, it changes angles in the following shots.

Continuity mistake: Mann's '71 Plymouth Valiant has the ignition slot in the steering column. But in one insert shot of his speedometer as he races the truck at 100 mph, an older model's dashboard ignition slot is visible - with no key in it. (01:10:00)

Jean G

Continuity mistake: When David Mann is at the cafe, the waitress brings over his sandwich and water. He immediately drinks all of the water, yet when the shot changes to above the table, of him looking at his sandwich, the glass of water is completely full again.

Continuity mistake: When David drives away from the petrol station near the start of the film, you will see the truck catch up with him in the next scene. Take a look at Davids parcel shelf in his car when you see the truck fly round the bend, and you will notice a white baseball cap and a pair of sun glasses on it. They were not there before and also not there for the rest of the film. (00:14:20)

Duel mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When David Mann crashes his car against the truck near the end of the movie, the car's frontal bodywork inexplicably returns as brand new in one shot and back smashed again.

Continuity mistake: Visible on the theatrical release. After David has overtaken the truck, you can see from the interior shot that David has his seat belt on. A few seconds later in the external shot David is no longer wearing his seat belt. (00:08:10)

Continuity mistake: Throughout the movie, there is a family picture that disappears and reappears on the driver's side sun visor.

Wendy D

Visible crew/equipment: When David's car gets stuck on the bus bumper, the next shot is of the bus' black bumper and the side of the car. At the top of the black bumper there are two people seen in the reflection. The person on the left turns and takes a step to the right.

More mistakes in Duel

David Mann: I'd like to report a truck driver who's been endangering my life.

More quotes from Duel

Trivia: At the end of the film when the truck goes off the cliff, we hear an odd groaning sound. This is a dinosaur growl from an old movie Spielberg likes. Interestingly, this same sound is also used at the end of Jaws as the shark sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Spielberg did this to show that Jaws and Duel would always be closely connected.

More trivia for Duel

Question: Why didn't David simply turn around and go back home? The truck never turned around to get him, it just waited further ahead up the road. David even stated he'd never make his meeting now due to delays. Huge plot hole.

Answer: As the title indicated this became a "duel." Once challenged, David got pulled into a fight mentality with the crazed truck driver to where his "road rage" pushed aside all logic and sense of safety. David became obsessed with defeating the "Goliath" opponent. Also, if he had turned around and went home, that would have ended the movie.

raywest Premium member

Answer: Not only that but, the truck driver was a psycho who wanted to kill David, so he would have likely turned around and kept following him.

Maybe-but if David had not taken his roughly one hour nap and turned around right then he would have had a huge head start on the truck, and it is doubtful the truck would have caught up with him. Still, a great movie.

More questions & answers from Duel

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.