This is a Steven Spielberg film that truly is underrated. It is very tense with a lot of Hitchcock-like suspense. This suspense of Duel leads to the suspense in Jaws. This film wasn't on for very long at all but the thrills and action never seemed to stop. It was a film that wasn't a well-known film from Steven Spielberg especially when Jaws and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind were released because they are both masterpieces of their genres. It was a rather weird film in some ways because a random gas truck driver tries to kill a random guy. Also, we don't see who is driving the truck. There are just suspects. The suspense was similar to Jaws and also like Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window with the music and sound effects. I do wish that this film had enough credit like other Spielberg films have. For some reason, it feels like Jaws replaced Duel for Spielberg thrillers.
Dennis Weaver was good as David Mann. He wasn't a well known actor to start with. He seemed like a random actor that Spielberg chose to start with in his films just like Jaws and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. He made us want to get into the character and make us feel for him because of the stalking lorry driver.
Spielberg directs this film a lot like how Alfred Hitchcock directed North By Northwest and Rear Window with the hard-hitting action sequences and with the slow yet sudden moments. Most of the film was complete action and suspense so there wasn't a massive story nor script to it and nor with a chemistry between character because there weren't any characters properly involved at all apart from David Mann. Steven Spielberg has always been a director of developing new characters and bringing them and his films to life but there wasn't any characters at all.
Overall, Duel is a really good Steven Spielberg film but I prefer others like Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, E.T, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Last Crusade, Jaws, The Terminal and Jurassic Park. Duel is a thriller that deservedly should have drawn more attention to the public like Jaws did. Duel is a definate recommendation to Spielberg fans and fans of action packed thrill-rides.