Duel is Stephen Spielberg's first movie and still one of his best. We start as David Mann, played by a very in form Dennis Weaver, embarks on a long journey through the desert in order to secure an important sales account for his boss. Part of the way through the trip, Mann overtakes an old truck who seems to resent this and gives chase. So begins the eponymous Duel.
That's, the whole story. You wouldn't think it would last a whole hour and a half, would you? But it does and then some. Duel starts out fairly prosaic with Mann driving from suburbia into the desert, random conversations played over the radio Grand Theft Auto style. Unease is drip fed into the movie as soon as the truck is first seen. We aren't sure of its intentions, until the truck driver motions Mann to overtake knowing there is oncoming traffic Mann can't see. From here the tension is cranked up considerably, evolving into one of the best thrillers out there.
The movie works largely because of Dennis Weaver's superb performance while the truck itself is simply evil on wheels. It is easy to see the inspiration of Jeepers Creepers' first half comes from Duel, but where the former relinquishes it's secrets far too early, Duel keeps them hidden making for some very tense scenes. The coffee shop is an excellent scene played out to eke every last drop of paranoia from Mann and the audience.
All in all, apart form Jaws and Indiana Jones, this is the best Spielberg movie I have seen.