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Trailers from Hell: Josh Olson on Steven Spielberg's Desert Highway Thriller 'Duel'

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood November 15, 2013 at 2:05PM

Carquake! concludes at Trailers from Hell with screenwriter Josh Olson introducing Steven Spielberg's "Duel," made in 1971 when Spielberg was 25 years old.
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"Duel"
"Duel"

Carquake! concludes at Trailers from Hell with screenwriter Josh Olson introducing Steven Spielberg's "Duel," made in 1971 when Spielberg was 25 years old.

In 1963 writer Richard Matheson had a terrifying freeway run-in with a murderous trucker who tried to run his car off the road. In 1971 he turned the experience into a story published in Playboy. Some hold to the view that even so accomplished and award-winning a filmmaker as Spielberg has never topped the impact made by his made-for-tv feature version starring Dennis Weaver. The 74 minute cut that premiered on the ABC network was lengthened to 88 minutes via outtakes for overseas release. It’s this version that circulates today, the original having been (unfortunately) long since retired.

This article is related to: Video, Video, Trailers, Trailers from Hell, Trailers, Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.