Compared are the shortened DVD Version and the uncut German VHS by CIC Video
- 6 cuts
- Difference: 50.8 sec
#in order to keep it as simple as possible, a few additional jumpcuts below 0.5 seconds haven't been considered in the following comparison.
Unfortunately, only a cut version of Steven Spielberg's impressive debut as director from 1971 is available on DVD - worldwide.
Some background information: originally, Duel was a 74-minute TV movie. In order to make a 90-minute theatrical movie out of it, a reshoot was required. Basically, only the longer theatrical version has been released on VHS and DVD but there are minor differences nevertheless. Some scenes have either been intentionally removed or the quality of the available master was so bad that it couldn't be used anymore. Either way, the DVD is almost one minute shorter than the VHS. What really catches the eye is the main character's monolog at the end of the movie. This scene also covers most of the length difference. The remaining differences don't have any monologs or dialogs. And to tell you the truth, the quite redundant.
Besides the German VHS, the UK tape is uncut as well (both released by CIC Video). Unfortunately, we couldn't get hands on it which is why it was impossible to write down the exact words of the monolog. As a result, the content of the monolog on the German has been translated back in indirect speech. There is a slight chance that this monolog is not in the original English audio track because this is also the case in further scene shortly before and after that monolog. If that the case, please consider the monolog as some kind of bonus information about the German release / the German audio track. The footage itself remains the same though and that is the reason why the following comparison definately tranferable.
The subsequently released UK VHS by Universal has also been checked but it contains the same version as the DVD.
Time index refers to
German DVD in PAL / German VHS (CIC Video) in PAL
17:22-17:23 / 17:22
The shot of David in the car is insignificantly longer in the DVD Version. Righr before that, there was a dot top right that incidicates a change of reels.
+ 1 sec
21:46 / 21:45-21:50
Shot of Davids car in the VHS Version.
22:08 / 22:12-22:16
Landscape shot through the windshield before David gets rammed.
35:04-35:05 / 35:12
Slightly longer medium long shot in the DVD Version before David hastily drinks up his glass of water.
Again, the dot which indicates a change of reels.
+ 0.9 sec
52:22-52:23 / 52:29
More missing footage due to a change of reels in the VHS Version.
+ 0.8 sec
58:46 / 58:52-58:54
The shot of sleepy David is a bit longer. As a result, one can see the approaching truck in the background.
67:24 / 67:32-67:34
David earlier checks the rearview mirror and mentions it was just as he had though.
69:44-69:45 / 69:54
The last scene in the VHS Version that lacks footage due to a change of reels when David stops the squad car.
+ 1 sec
73:01 / 73:10-73:33
A monolog of David's while he's looking backwards (as reflection). He says the pass was coming up soon and if he could keep the speed while driving up the hill, the truck driver needed to head back. Then he wonders if he could keep the speed long distance-wise because he had never tried before. But then again, he had never gone through something like that either. He decides to permanently keep in mind that a killer was after him.
Then a further shot of his tail.
75:51 / 76:23-76:38
Landscape shot of the two opponents.