This is an account of Steven Spielberg’s first stand-alone film, Duel, a made for TV movie that first aired in 1971. This book chronicles the film’s history, from the original short story by acclaimed writer Richard Matheson (16 Twilight Zone episodes, Somewhere in Time, I Am Legend) to its development as a teleplay, to its production under the direction of Spielberg.
Spielberg provided the author with many rare documents from his archives, including multiple drafts of Duel’s teleplay, the shooting schedule, shooting logistics breakdowns, production correspondence, storyboards, shooting maps, and much more. The film's teleplay (including the never-before-published script for the four additional scenes drafted by Spielberg and the film’s producer for the theatrical edit) are all included in this book.
"The destruction of the truck...was just a beginning," film historian Awalt writes in his in-depth look at famed director Steven Spielberg's first major film, 1971's Duel, a television thriller starring Dennis Weaver and a menacing 18-wheeler based off of a short story by Richard Matheson. Duel is legendary among film buffs and is regarded as both a relic from the 1970s and a cult classic. It was instantly well received and Spielberg, only 25-years-old at the time, was highly praised. Awalt is eager to share every possible piece of information on the film, including a full copy of the movie's teleplay, storyboards of one sequence, and scene-by-scene analysis. Interviews with Weaver, Matheson, the film's producers, and Spielberg himself grant unparalleled access to the process of making the film. This book will surely be beloved by film students for that very reason. Awalt isn't always the most graceful writer and occasionally his prose overreach for gravitas ("The brute was vanquished" is his description of the truck at the end of the film) but there's so much information here, these flaws will be overlooked by satisfied readers. Photos.