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Duel

Comparison:

  • TV Original Version
  • Theatrical Version
Release: Feb 10, 2019 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Asphyxia - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the TV original version (represented by an American TV recording) and the extended theatrical version (represented by the German Blu-ray from Universal)


* 11 pure sound/audio modifications
* 7 additional scenes in the theatrical version with a duration of 1035.6 sec (= 17:16 min)
* 15 additional scenes for the original TV version with a duration of 106.7 sec (= 1:47 min)
...from the latter you can subtract 5 scenes where the Blu-ray/DVD version of the theatrical version is only shortened compared to the VHS version: 49.3 sec...

A few additional master defects with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each were not listed in the section report.



Far too precious for a pure TV evaluation: The extended theatrical version of Steven Spielberg's DUELL


Steven Spielberg's 1971 directorial debut Duell is still impressive today with his oppressive staging of a psycho-chase with an unidentified truck driver. After 13 days of shooting, Steven Spielberg had 10 more days in the editing room until the deadline for the TV broadcast. An impressive start for an exceptional director who, with a low budget of 450,000 US dollars, would probably not have been expected to make the following career. At any rate, the potential was recognized quite quickly at that time, because the first broadcast on the American channel ABC on 13th November 1971 was a great success. Universal then took over the marketing outside the US and without further ado they decided to bring the work to the big screen.

In addition, Spielberg had a few more scenes shot in order to bring the originally 74-minute TV film to a usual feature film length of about 90 minutes. Car lovers quickly noticed the added scenes, because the 72' model of the red Plymouth Valiant was used for the new material. In addition, they made a few more adjustments and occasionally removed some moments, more about this in the following section report.

On DVD and Blu-ray this theatrical 2nd version was curiously edited and compared to early VHS editions which were edited by about 50 seconds. These differences are also highlighted below. In any case, the original TV version was hardly or perhaps not at all evaluated on home cinema media worldwide. But at least on American television you can still see it now and then and our international reader Dante Kindley fortunately provided a US TV recording for the following comparison.

The differences between the original TV version and the 2nd theatrical version


Purely in terms of running time, of course, the scenes shot afterwards deserve a mention first. We start with a longer opening sequence, which shows David's car ride from home. Not spectacular in itself. David's call to his wife at the gas station is more interesting, because only here his private situation is deepened and some tension is built up. This applies even more clearly to the 10-minute block in the middle of the film, where David first meets a school bus and panics and then is further terrorized by the truck at a railroad crossing.

In addition, it is interesting to mention that various places have been removed for the theatrical version and that the TV version contains exclusive material. On the one hand there are the moments which are unfortunately missing on DVD/Blu-ray compared to the VHS or which are not really "special" anymore. Beyond that there is still about one minute of additional material, which above all shows David in more detail in the car and often lets him make further comments. At the departure from the gas station there is also a little alternative material to be discovered by the lacking phone call with his wife scene.

Otherwise is still very striking and not to be guessed at the running time at all: There are several audio modifications, where we don't want to give a 100% guarantee for a complete documentation. On the one hand at least at one point a somewhat stronger choice of words was used, which perhaps simply wanted to set the film apart from the restrictions that apply in US television. But above all, for the theatrical version, there were several off-comments by David removed. You can still hear some of them, but the frequency was significantly reduced and the focus was directed more to the not further explained chase game. Probably they wanted to offer the TV viewers even more possibilities to identify with the main character, but then realized, that the horror without partly ironic to simply confused comments would work much better.

All in all, the movie has been noticeably upgraded with the more popular theatrical version, so it's already enough that this has always been the more widespread version. Nevertheless, it would of course be nice if the original TV-version would be included at some point in the near future at least as a bonus on a release. After all, Spielberg's career was set in motion exactly by this work, so that it should already be archived as a work of art in itself.


Runtime specifications are arranged according to the following scheme
TV version in NTSC / theatrical version Blu-ray
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Alternative Universal logo at the beginning.
Not included in the cut duration/quantity.

Blu-ray 7 sec. longer

Original TV versionTheatrical version (Blu-ray)




Additional material in the TV version
00:10-00:23 / 00:17-03:41

In the theatrical version David leaves home and as the credits show, you can see him driving extensively through the city and only then on the country road.


But in the TV version the follow-up shot of the country road begins much earlier and here, there is the own title insertion.


theatrical version 190.5 sec (= 3:11 min) longer


In the TV version correspondingly also for the following recordings further/shorter credits. The final director's credit is then in the same place, albeit in a different font.

Original TV versionTheatrical version (Blu-ray)




Additional material in the TV version
07:45-07:46 / 11:02

Before the close-up of the feet, the gas station attendant in the TV version slams the bonnet in a short additional shot.

+ 1.1 sec




07:49 / 11:05-14:22

Instead, the bonnet in the theatrical version is closed from another camera perspective and David still goes inside the gas station. There he calls his wife and there is some discussion. The gas station attendant asks for some more money and in front of David's eyes a woman is tidying up in a washing machine. When David leaves, the truck driver honks his horn again.

197.2 sec (= 3:17 min)




Additional material in the TV version
08:12-08:21 / 14:45

The TV version has a longer additional shot of David in the car.

+ 9.2 sec




08:42-08:47 / 15:06-15:07

Probably just one special feature of the present recording (commercial break?): Short black image in the TV version and the subsequent shot begins on Blu-ray insignificantly earlier.
Not included in cut duration/quantity.

TV version 4.5 sec longer


audio change
09:36-09:53 / 15:56-16:13

Only in the TV version you can hear David's comment: "Oh, what a miserable meathead."
Also shortly after that, only the TV version has a comment (though rather incomprehensible).

Images for classification




audio change
10:47 / 17:07

Again a "miserable meathead"-comment for the theatrical version was deleted, this time even at David's close-up shot - although you can hardly see his mouth movements, so that this is not really noticeable.

Image for classification




Additional material in the TV version
11:37-11:42 / 17:57

David can be seen longer in the car and he comments: "You wanted me to hit that car head on."

+ 5.1 sec




Alternative / Additional material in the TV version
11:54-12:06 / 18:09-18:14

An alternative shot of David, accompanied by a more harmless commentary on the TV recording.

TV: "Come on you miserable meathhead, move that fat end of truck out of my way."
Theatrical version: "Come on, you miserable fathead, get that fat ass truck out of my way."

TV version 6.7 sec longer

Original TV versiontheatrical version (Blu-ray)




audio change
12:22 / 18:30

Only in the TV version does David ask "Where's the police around here?"

Image for classification




Additional material in the TV version
12:24-12:29 / 18:31

David makes another disparaging comment about the police in an additional close-up shot.

+ 5.2 sec




Additional material in the TV version
16:40-16:46 / 22:42

After a side shot of David's car, the TV version offers another shot of him at the wheel.
Remark: This scene was still present on the VHS version of the theatrical version respectively is only missing on all newer versions, e.g. on DVD and Blu-ray.

+ 5.6 sec




audio change
26:10 / 32:06

Only in the TV version David mumbles "It's gotta be one of them. Yeah, which one? Which one?"

Images for classification




Additional material in the TV version
30:58-30:59 / 36:54

David snap-shuts his sandwich in the restaurant at the end of the shot.

+ 0,9 sec




31:54 / 37:49-37:54

After the camera panning from outside back to David, the longer view of him is only interrupted at the theatrical version for a re-cut to the other people in the bar.

4,8 sec




audio change
32:19 / 38:19

Only in the TV-version David comments during the camera ride over the boots: "Oh yeah, that's him, all right, that's him."

Image for classification




37:42 / 43:42-53:32

Two longer additional scenes in the theatrical version, David drives on and meets a school bus that has broken down on the road and so a little additional tension arises. Afterwards he has to struggle at a railway crossing that the truck pushes him in the direction of the passing train.

David wonders why the bus driver didn't ask the truck driver who passed by before and David is a bit annoyed that he should now help pushing the truck. The children are still grimacing and after several attempts David gets stuck. When he tries to free his bumper again, the truck driver looks around the corner again respectively drives inside the tunnel and waits there. David notices the truck and shooes the children running around outside back into the bus for safety's sake. David gets on the bonnet himself and jumps around until the bumper is finally released. David drives off in panic, whereupon the truck also turns, bumps the school bus briefly and then takes up the pursuit of David.

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