Duel (1971) - full transcript

While traveling through the desert for an appointment with a client, the businessman David Mann from California passes a slow and old tanker truck. The psychotic truck driver feels offended and chases David along the empty highway trying to kill him.

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Visit Mike Vernon Motors
at 13631 Valley Boulevard.

That's 13631 Valley Boulevard
in Garden Grove.

And now, for our report
from the freeways,
to Don Edwards

and KBMJ's eye in the sky.
Come in, Don.

Thanks, Dick,

things seem to be
pretty normal on our
Southland freeways,

which is to say they're
just about filled to capacity

at this hour of the morning.

There's a report
of a stalled vehicle
in the number two lane

of the inbound
San Diego Freeway
just south of Mulholland.

And we also have
a report of an accident



approximately half a mile
west of the 605 junction

of the Santa Ana Freeway.

Both vehicles are now up
on the center divider.

Traffic is still slow
and go in that area.

Traffic is also
heavily congested

on the westbound
Ventura Freeway

from Woodman to Balboa
due to construction.

And we understand
this condition will last
until 3:00 this afternoon.

Don Edwards in Airwatch 3.
Back to you.

Thanks, Don.

The weather for today,
as promised,

is a carbon copy
of yesterday's,

low overcast this morning,
clearing by 11:00.

The National
Weather Bureau says



the high today
will be about 74,

low tonight in the high 50s.

At the beaches,
temperatures will stay
in the pleasant 70s.

Water temperature
in the 60s.

The APCD predicts light
to moderate eye irritation,

as if you hadn't
already noticed.

I have.

And you know something?

You know how much
your dog likes meat?

Well, make sure
that's what he's getting...

Grocery card
double discount value

I mention each week,

is not one of a kind.

It's only one of hundreds
of double discounts

always available
at Grocery Cart.

The Giant 49...

At the first sign of any
hemorrhoidal discomfort

treatment should
begin at once.

Remarkably successful results
have been obtained

with a doctor-proven...

Five to three.

St. Louis, 6,
the Giants, 4.

Milwaukee defeated
the Royals, 4 to 3.

Texas edged
the Yankees, 5 to 4.

Pittsburgh and
the Padres rained out.

The Dodgers and
Angels were both idle.

In golf, Dave Brewer
has a one-stroke lead

after the first round
of the Toronto Classic.

He shot a 5-under-par 67

with Lee Trevino
one stroke back at 68.

Three others tied
four strokes off
the pace at 71.

Say, does your car
need a new muffler
or new shock absorbers?

You know
about these census forms

...that the Census
Bureau has sent out
to us all to fill in, right?

That will be
the basis of this...

Census District Office.

I would like
some information.

I'm filling out my
census form right now

and I have an awful problem.

And I was wondering,
can somebody help me?

Go ahead.

Thanks. Oh, you're
gonna answer my question?

- Yes.
- Oh, good.

First of all,
I just wanted to say, uh,

I don't mind being
counted as an American.

I'm one of
the silent majority.

But I wish you had
made some of those
questions multiple choice.

Now, the question was, um,

are you the head
of the family?

Well, quite frankly,
the day I married that woman

that, unfortunately,
I've been married to
for the last 25 years...

Oh!

Well, it's true.

Well, I lost the position
as head of the family.

You see, what I do...
I stay home. I hate working.

I hate going out
and seeing people

and getting involved
in the rat race
and things like that.

So she works and
I do the housework

and take care of the babies
and things like that.

And so, I was wondering,
you wanted honest answers.

Now, what I did, I
penciled in all of the marks

that you wanted marks
in these circles here
that I see in front of me.

I penciled it in first,
but I said,

"No, that's being dishonest.

"I'm really not
the head of the family,

"and yet I'm
the man of the family."

Although there are
people in the neighborhood
who would question that.

But nevertheless,
I was wondering,

how should I
answer that question?

Well, if you
don't consider yourself
head of the household,

and you think that your wife
occupies that position,

I would suggest you put
your wife's name there.

Yes, but
that's so embarrassing.

What will you people
think when I send it?

Nobody is even
going to know.

Are you sure?

I'm positive.
No one will know about that.

We won't know you
from Adam's house cat.

I know.
But there are people
in my neighborhood...

They will never
see that form.

Are you sure?

No one
in your neighborhood
will ever find out.

I don't want people
to know about that.

Quite frankly, I've
lived like this for 15 years,

and I admit,
I wear a house dress.

It's so much easier
to pick up stuff
in a house dress,

and, you know, slippers.

And, quite frankly,
I've adopted most...

Talk about pollution.

...of the average
housewife,

and I'd hate for
anybody to know that.

Anyway, it's
very embarrassing,
so would you...

All information
that you include on
that form is confidential.

...800,000 others.

So it would be all right?
I wanna be honest with you.

I'm really not
the head of the family.

She doesn't know
I'm calling.

That woman just
drives me up the wall
and over the other side.

I like doing this just
to get even with her.

You know how women are
before you marry them.
They're so nice.

And suddenly they
become so aggressive.

I mean, she became so
aggressive afterward.

Just took over everything.
I mean...

Oh, no.

I'm afraid of her,
you see.

I've been wanting
to divorce her.

The first six
months of marriage,
I knew I made a mistake.

But no, I got
ahold of this first,
before she did.

I thought,
"Well, I'll answer it."

But I wanted to
be honest about it,

and I'm a man of conscience,

so I wanted to make sure,

if I put down I'm
the head of the family,

nobody would know
the difference, right?

No.

I'll put it down...

I really like you.
Are you married?

Hey!

When you get married,

don't be like that whippo
that I married.

Would you?

I'll try my best not to be.

All right.

Thank you so much.
It's nice talking to you.

You're welcome.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

This is Mr. Whittington.

You were talking to a Mr...

Oh, Valenti, the man
who blows bicycle pump

on the Ted Mack
Original Amateur Hour. Yes.

Yes, well, uh, I've
been trying to get in touch
with Mr. Mack myself.

Because,
well, I've tried to...

Huh.

Well, I play music
on something unusual myself.

Of course,
we're always looking
for original amateur talent.

Mr. Valenti is
unusual for the fact

that he not only
blows Oh, Johnny
on the bicycle pump,

but also does nail file
on a high, flat table,

and also plays
the vacuum cleaner nozzle

It's a Great
Day for the Irish.

You say you do
something unusual?
Yes.

Well, what do you do,
may I ask?

I play meat.

- You what?
- I play meat.

You play meat?

Yes, meat.

You know, beef and pork.

That's sick, man.

M-E-A-T, meat?

Yes.

It may sound a little strange.

Yeah. I don't mean
to hurt your feelings,

but I've never
heard of anybody
who plays meat.

A lot of people
think it's strange.

Yes,
I can understand that.

No offense.
Are you serious about this?

Yes. Yes.

I've worked here as
an assistant butcher

and I've found in
a cold storage locker...

Yes, sir.

Whatever you want,
I got it.

What do you want?

Fill it with ethyl.

If Ethel don't mind.

Want me to check
under the hood
for you?

Uh, please. Yes.

Looks like you could use
a new radiator hose.

Where have I
heard that before?

I'll get one later,
thanks.

You're the boss.

Not in my house, I'm not.

Attendant?
Yes, sir?

You got change
for the telephone?

Yes, sir.

I'll get you
the rest later?

Be with you
in a minute.

Operator.

Operator, I'd like to
call 659-0716, collect.

Uh, Dave Mann.

The number here is 238-2098.

Thank you.

Excuse me.

Honey?

It's me.

What's the matter?
Did you have an accident?

No, it's nothing like that.

Well, what happened?

Well,
nothing happened.
I just, uh...

Well, I just wanted
to, uh, apologize.

You don't have
to apologize.

I know I don't have to.
I wanted to.

When I left
the house this morning,
you were asleep,

so I just wanted
to call you up and
tell you that, uh,

I, uh... I'm sorry
about last night.

Oh, I really don't
want to talk about it.

Well...

Don't you think
maybe we ought to?

No, because
if we talk about it,

we'll just get into a fight,

and you wouldn't
want that, would you?

Of course not.

What is that
supposed to mean?

Oh, never mind.

Uh, just a minute.

I know what it's
supposed to mean.

It means that you
think that I should go out
and call Steve Henderson up

and challenge him
to a fistfight or something.

No, of course not.

But, honey, I think
you could have at least

said something to
the man last night.

I mean, after all, he was

practically trying to rape me
in front of the whole party.

Oh, come on, honey.

Just forget it.
You gonna be home by 6:30?

If Forbes lets me go in time.

Is it that important
that you see him?

He's leaving for
Hawaii in the morning.

The way he's been
griping to the front office,
if I don't reach him today,

I could lose the account.

You said there
would be no problem
about getting home on time.

There probably won't be.

It's your mother.

God knows she's
not coming to see me.

Honey, I said there probably
won't be a problem.

Well, just be on time, okay?

All right.

Okay, I'll be there.

Here's your card, sir.

Be with you in a second.

You save
them stamps?

No, thanks.

Good enough.
Come back, now.

Will do.

I gave you the road.
Why don't you take it?

Why don't you go?

Oh, boy, you're beautiful.

I don't believe it.

I don't believe it.

I'm in no mood to play games.

Let's go.

Well, it's about time,
Charlie!

My God.

Jesus.

Come on,
you miserable fathead.

Get that fat-ass
truck out of my way.

Well, I'm never going to make
that appointment now.

You miserable...

Okay. Okay.

You want to play games.

You all right, mister?

Yeah. Yeah, except...

Oh, my neck.

You got a whiplash,
probably.

Yeah. It's all right.

He's all right.

What happened?

That truck driver
tried to kill me.

Kill you? Go on.

He chased me down the mountain

at nearly 90 miles an hour.

I don't know what
else you'd call it.

Tried to kill you.

It sure looks like
you got whiplash.
Oh, it's...

You got the whiplash,
all right.

That's okay.

Thank... It's okay.

Anything I can
do for you?

No, nothing. Thank you.

No. That's okay.

Okay.

Just a little whiplash is all.

What happened
out there, mister?

Can I use your
men's room, please?

Yeah.

Through the door,
on the right,

down the hall,
turn left, second door.

Well, you never know.
You just never know.

You just go along figuring
some things don't change,
ever, right?

Like being able to
drive on a public highway

without somebody
trying to murder you.

And then one
stupid thing happens.

Twenty, twenty-five minutes
out of your whole life,

and all the ropes that
kept you hanging in there
get cut loose.

And it's like,
there you are,

right back
in the jungle again.

All right, boy,
it was a nightmare,
but it's over now.

It's all over.

Are you all right?

Yeah, I'm fine.

What happened
out there?

Oh, just
a slight complication.

Oh?

Looked like a big
complication to me.

Well, ready to order now?

Ahem. Yes.

Yes, thank you. Um...

Oh, I think I'll...

Just give me, um... Um...

Why don't you just give me
a cheese sandwich,

Swiss cheese on rye?

R-Y-E.

Swiss cheese on rye.
All right.

And could I have another
glass of water, please?

Oh, sure.
Another glass of water.

Oh, uh, miss?
Yes?

Do you have an aspirin?

Aw, your head aches.

Sure, I'll get you
some aspirin.

I don't know,
all I did was pass

this stupid rig
a couple of times,

and he goes flying
off the deep end.

He has to be crazy.

Okay, so he's crazy.
What can I do about it?

Find him a psychiatrist?

Oh, boy.

Now wait a minute.

Now waitjust a minute.

All right, now, think.

Okay, he's in here.

Well, that doesn't mean
he intends to continue
his attack.

It is lunchtime,

and Chuck's Cafe
may be the only place
to eat for miles around.

Yeah. He probably
eats here all the time.

He was just
moving too fast before,

and he had to slow down,
turn around, that's all.

That's all.

Why didn't I leave right away
when I saw his truck outside?

Then I'd know what
he intends to do.

What if he
followed me out, though,

started after me again?

I'd be right back
where I started.

Even if I got a lead,
he'd overtake me soon enough.

He's got some
souped-up diesel.

My car is just
not that powerful.

I just can't drive 80
and 90 miles an hour.

As soon as I
stop concentrating,

I'd go back to 60 or 70
like I always do.

It's a habit.
I can't help it.

I... Take it easy.

Just take it easy.

Maybe I...

Maybe I should try
some kind of contact.

Well, I'd better do something.

Look, mister,
I'm sorry if I irritated you.

Why don't I buy you a beer
and get this thing
straightened out, huh?

No.

Look, mister, I'm sorry
if I irritated you,

but let me, uh...

There you are.
Anything else?

No, thank you.

Uh...

I'd like some ketchup.

What if I called
the local police?

But then I'd
have to stay here,
lose more time.

What if he stayed, too?
Actually talked to
the police himself?

Naturally,
he'd deny everything.
I've got no proof.

And I'm sure
none of these people
would back me up.

The cops will probably...

Okay, so now what?

Look, uh...

I want you to cut it out.

What?

Just cut it out, okay?

Cut what out?

Now, come on. I mean...

Please, I...

Let's not play games.

What the hell are
you talking about?

I can call the police.

The police?
You think that I won't?

You're wrong, mister.

If you think that you can take
that truck of yours

and just use it
as a murder weapon,

just killing
people on the highway,

well, you're wrong.

You've got
another thing coming.

Man, you need help.

Don't you tell me I need help.

Hey! Hey, come on!

Who the hell do
you think you are,

knocking my sandwich
out of my hand?

Come on, now.
You wanna fight,
get on outside.

I don't wanna fight.
I wanna knock his head off.

You already
hit him twice.

What more do you want, huh?

Come on now. Look at him.

He's sick. Can't you see?
He ain't gonna fight no one.

That creep comes around,

knocks my sandwich
out of my hand.

All right, all right.
I'll buy you another sandwich.

I'll buy you
another sandwich.

Come on, forget it.
No, forget it.

Forget it.

I don't wanna stay
around here anyway.

Let me buy you
a beer then, huh?

I'll buy you a beer.

Why don't you get
out of here, huh?

Yeah?

Mister, I'm sorry
to bother you,

but I could use
a little help.

What kind of help?

Well, I could use a push.

Damn thing
overheated on me,

and I stopped
to let it cool off.

Now I can't get
her started again.

Why didn't you
flag down that truck?

What truck?

The one that just went by here
a couple of minutes ago.

Guess I didn't notice.

I must have been inside
trying to get that piece
of junk shaking.

Would you
get off the car?
How about it?

I don't know.
Looks like I'd go
right underneath the bumper.

No.

Hey, get off the car.
You're gonna get hurt there.

Nah, you're all right.

Rodney,
get down from there.

That goes for
you too, Shawn.

All right.
Come on, everybody!
Back on the bus!

Wait a minute!

Wait, I...

Well, we'll see.

Come on. Come on.

Push! Push! Push!

Push! Push! Push! Push!

Push! Push! Push!

He can't do it!

You can't do it!
You can't do it!

Mr. Pfeiffer,
that guy's stuck, too.

Shit.

Sorry, mister.
I could have swore
we were okay.

Yeah, well, I told you
we were gonna get hung up.

How about
I give you a hand?

Don't sit on the hood.

That hood will dent.
I told the kids not
to get on the hood.

Just see if you can
bounce it loose,

and I'll, uh, uh...

Just bounce it loose.

Hold it!

Something wrong?

That bastard turned
around and came back.

Is that the truck
you were asking about?

Uh...

Get those kids
out of the way.

What for?

Just get them off the road
and they'll be okay.

They're all right.
They're not on the road.

Hey! Get back
in the bus. Please.

Please. Come on.
Come on. Back in the bus!

You're all right,
right where you are.

As long as you stay off
the road, you're okay.

Come on!

You're perfectly all right.
Just keep off the road.

Let's get back in the bus,
come on.

Get off of the highway.
There's a truck coming.

You must be out
of your brains!

Yeah! Yeah!

Come on! Please!

Take your hands off...

Come on.
Get back in the bus!
Get your hands off him!

Now look, I know
how this must sound,

but that man is crazy.

He's been trying
to kill me. I mean it.

Well, I tell you,
if I had to vote on

who's crazy around here,
it'd be you.

Uh, um...

When I bust them loose,
pull it back.

Now!

Hey! Hey!

Hey, stop!

Hey!

Hey!

Oh, boy.

Hi. Help you, mister?

You got a telephone?

Out in the back.

This way?

Something for your car?

Uh...

Well, you can put what ethyl
you can get in the tank.

All righty.

Would you mind checking
those radiator hoses?

I'll do that.

Take a look at my snakes
if you have time.

Weird place for
a telephone booth.

Operator.

I'd like to
report a truck driver

that's been
endangering my life.

In that case, I'll have to
give you the police, sir.

Right. Give me the police.

Sir, which department
do you want?

Whichever's closer.

What number are
you calling from?

This number is 9821.

What's your name, sir?
David Mann.

How do you
spell that, please?

M-A-N-N.
That's two N's.

I'd like to
report a truck driver

that's been
endangering my life.

What's your name again?

David Mann.

Why'd he do that?

Why'd he break my cages up?

Why'd he break
my cages up?

Call the police!
With what?

That's the only
phone I've got!

My snakes!
I've got to find my snakes!

Oh, my snakes.
My snakes.

The highway's all yours, Jack.

I'm not budging
for at least an hour.

Maybe the police will
pull you in by then.

Maybe they won't,
but at least you'll
be far away from me.

"Well, dear,
did you have a nice trip?"

"Ah, no, no.
Just the same old thing."

Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy.

Well, I won't be
seeing Forbes today,
that's for sure.

What's the matter,
car trouble?

Well, in a way, yes.

I wonder if
you'd do me a favor.

What's that?

Would you stop at
the nearest telephone
you come to

and call the police?
Police?

Yeah, you see that truck?

Mister, we don't
want any trouble.

No, there won't
be any trouble.

All I'm asking you to
do is call the police.

Was there an accident?

Ma'am, all I'm asking
you to do is just
make a phone call.

Jim, step on the pedal.

My life's in danger!

I'm sorry, mister...
Can't you make
a lousy phone call

to the lousy police for me?

Stop it, mister.
You're scaring us.

Or just drop me off
at the nearest station.
I'll pay you for it.

Jim!

Okay, let's see you
catch me now.

Here we go.

Can't beat me on the grade.

You can't beat me
on the grade!

Come on.

How can he go so fast?

Huh?

The radiator hose.

Oh, no, please! No!

Oh, my God!

Come on, faster!

Oh, my God.

Come on!

Come on.

Please.

Come on.

Come on, car.
Come on, let's go!

Come on!

Where's the summit?

Please. Please.

Come on!

Come on!

There it is. There it is!

Faster. Faster!