Over 45 years after making the car chase classic, Steven Spielberg is talking how he would do Duel differently if making the film today. Rev those engines…
We’re challenging you movie lovers to a Duel…
According to Empire, 1791’s Duel would be a little less loud today. With the popular UK magazine recently putting out an issue on the legendary career of Steven Spielberg, a lot of his films came under the movie microscope.
Inviting popular filmmakers to speak about their favorite Spielberg picture, Baby Driver director Edgar Wright goes further and actually interviews the icon about his debut feature. While speaking, the Jaws director reveals how the classic wouldn’t be the same today.
Here’s what Spielberg says about what today’s Duel would look like:
"“I cut about fifty per cent of the dialogue out of the script. It told me that this was going to be my first silent movie. I was a huge fan of the silent era and had at that point in my life gone out many times to the Nuart and other revival houses to watch silent movies on the big screen. I even tried to get the network to agree to let me cut out even more dialogue, but the network was adamant that we needed what remained as some kind of a road map for people who just watched TV and who didn’t want to put too much effort into the viewing experience. If I’d had final cut in those days, I would have cut the dialogue even further back.”"
Find the entire interview at Empire.
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I have no problems with the original, but if he wants to remake Duel with less inner monologues ….I’m already there.
Originally a TV movie, extended to 90 minutes when sold for theatrical distribution overseas, Duel is a true classic. Arguably the best debut feature of any filmmaker, the chase film still works today as it did decades ago. A simple tale of everyman taking on an unthinkable terror, it still stands as a blueprint for suspense and terror. It’s Hitchcock without Hitchcock, and that’s the best compliment any film can get.
If you’ve yet to see Duel, I highly suggest picking it up immediately. Although only the theatrical cut is available — I’ve been searching for the original TV cut for awhile to no avail — it’s the only version I know. And this version is mighty effective. Rushing to see it should be paramount for Spielberg fans, and anyone wanting a throwback, white-knuckle, thriller.
Purchase the Steven Spielberg debut outing from Amazon today.