Previous posts in this discussion:
PostAlong the Basel-Geneva Highway... (John Heelan, UK, 06/04/16 2:07 pm)
Anybody remember the film Duel with Dennis Weaver, in which a "a business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer"?
My family and I has a similar experience when driving between Basel and Geneva one year. A large tractor-trailer was blocking the centre of the freeway for miles. Any time a car tried to pass, the driver would swerve the tractor section towards the passing car, roaring the engine to intimidate the passing driver. Eventually, I managed to slide by on the nearside when the tractor driver was swerving his vehicle at somebody daring to pass him on the offside. However for the next 10 miles I kept watching my rear-view mirror, expecting to see an angered road-beast tearing up behind me to take revenge. (In the film, the psychotic truck driver feels offended and chases Weaver along the empty highway trying to kill him. I think the truck was called "Christine" in the film, however we called the one on the Swiss highway a far more prosaic Anglo-Saxon word!
JE comments: Yikes. Somehow Switzerland is the last country in the world where I would expect to see such poor driving manners. The made-for-TV Duel (just checked) was Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film. Christine is a Stephen King novel and film, about an angry car--an aptly named 1958 Plymouth Fury.
Spielberg's "Duel"; from Gary Moore
(John Eipper, USA
06/05/16 1:13 PM)
Gary Moore writes:
My thanks to John Heelan (June 4) for providing the name of a movie
that happened to rivet me long ago as a late-night TV rerun, back
before cyber-info, so I never could puzzle out the title. I now know
from John's post that it was "Duel."
The entire movie is about a big
tractor-trailer truck chasing the car of a terrified motorist (Dennis Weaver)
through ever-escalating face-offs on a winding highway. I thought:
"What is this thing?" "Who could possibly have made such a movie?"
You never see the truck driver's face, no indication of personhood at all.
I thought: "Who in the world--what writer or director--could have grasped
that he could get away with such prolonged symbolism?" We now know
from John's post that this was the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg
--making the leap to innovation through the logical back door: Truck Movie.
I kept waiting to see the monster truck's malevolent driver--but then it was
over. The terrified motorist, overpowered at every turn, had at last lured the
behemoth over a cliff, and it lay smoking below him. That was all: man fights
dragon, man is impossibly outmatched and can only flee, man thinks, dragon
JE comments: Man against Man, in modern times, becomes Man against Machine. The very angry 1990s rock/hip-hop act Rage Against the Machine reportedly took its name from an unreliable 1979 Chevy van. I've had vehicles like that.