Duel

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.

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Deliberate mistake: Just before the truck slides off the cliff edge, you can see that the truck's cab door is open where the driver jumped out.

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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.

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More mistakes in Duel


Trivia: Steven Spielberg "interviewed" over 100 trucks before finding the forboding, evil looking one for the movie.

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The_Iceman Premium member

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.

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Trivia: This film garnered so much critical praise that it was theatrically released in quite a few countries, though it was originally a made-for-TV-movie for NBC in 1972.

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Question: Where was David Mann actually going? And where from? As in, which states? He seemed to be travelling for hours even before he met the truck and seemed to have a long way to go yet.

The_Iceman Premium member

Chosen answer: The movie opens with him in downtown Los Angeles, California, so he's probably from there or somewhere in Southern California. He's heading to Bakersfield, California, which is north, about 2 hours away. In the short story, he's heading to a client in San Francisco. However, in the film he gets off the main freeway running from LA to Bakersfield (IH-5) and takes Highway 14 towards Canyon Country.

Bishop73

Question: I know it's never answered in the film but is it explained in the book just why the truck driver takes such a dislike to David Mann - he behaves this way after just a couple of overtakes?

The_Iceman Premium member

Chosen answer: That is never answered for the film, and not knowing adds to the mystery and intrigue. No mentally stable person would target someone just because they overtook their vehicle on the road. It appears that Mann happened to cross paths with a psychopath. Steven Spielberg has commented that the multiple out-of-state license plates attached to the truck's front bumper may be "trophies" that indicate that the trucker is a serial killer who has run down other drivers. This could be a deadly game to the truck driver.

raywest Premium member

I just wonder why the driver door on the big rig was open while it took a dive over the mountain.

Perhaps a hint that the truck driver escaped. You notice that the truck doesn't explode on impact, although the studio insisted it must; Spielberg fought the studio over the inclusion of a cliched fiery finale, as he wanted the crash to convey an ambiguous ending, suggesting that the driver might not have died. Spielberg even explained that the red liquid seen in the truck cab was not blood, but was some sort of automotive fluid. This all lent to the mystery of what actually happened to the driver, whose body we never see.

Charles Austin Miller

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