©1971 Universal City Studios, Inc. All rights reserved.
Steven Spielberg's early film directorial work is highlighted by this made-for-TV feature starring Dennis Weaver
as a motorist plagued by a crazed truck driver. Spielberg fans will notice the similarity in the director's
handling of the demise of an 18 wheeler and, in a later film, a two ton "eating machine." This title makes for
some of the shortest sides ever pressed by DiscoVision, and is also one of the shortest pressing runs produced.
The video transfer of Duel is acceptable, however the source material, 35mm film, has some obvious flaws and
they show up on the screen. The audio is transferred well, however, it seems the audio and video are out of sync by
more than a full second for the famous truck crash sequence. Not having personally seen the film in any other venue
than DiscoVision, I cannot be sure if this is the directors intent, or a mistake in the transfer.
Some copies have additional information at the end of side 3. A player which ignores the "end of side" is required to
play this additional program. What has been discovered is SMPTE color bars and 1000hz tone. During the test
pattern, the frame counter remains stationary. However, further down the disc, the counter resets, the typical side
opening bumper begins, announcing side 4...of Duel. The first 8,290 frames of side 4 are present before
there simply isn't any recorded material left on the disc and the player looses sync. The complete side 4 is then
presented, on side 4.
Duel was released during December 1993 by MCA/Universal Home Video (Catalog #: 41752). Universal is working
on a Special Edition of the film for release on DVD. The original release date was pushed out and no new date has been announced.
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Updated: June 9, 2002
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