MovieChat Forums > Duel (1971) Discussion > David's approach to who he thought was t...

David's approach to who he thought was the nasty truck driver


'Cut it out.'

A bit odd.

I'd have said, 'hey are you the guy trying to run me off the road?' I'd say it in a jokey way so if it wasn't him he wouldn't get mad.

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Yeah, it's probably not the best thing in the world to be openly angry at some macho trucker guy who is already messing with you in what amounts to a killing machine.

I guess by the time David thought he had his guy, he was too rattled to think rationally and try a more manufactured approach.

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Maybe...

But then again the way he was eating his sandwich and casually saying...'cut what out?'

I knew it wasn't him.

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Yes, it wasn't the right guy.

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I interpreted that scene to mean that David was finally forcing himself to be assertive and overcome his timidness, albeit his hesitant personality was also preventing him from confronting the driver (it also didn't help that he had no idea which one he was). From the conversation he had with his wife on the phone it seems as though 'Steve Henderson' had behaved very inappropriately in front of his wife and David did nothing to stop it so it seems as though he is a bit of coward. The rest of the movie is building up to David overcoming his personal inhibitions, represented by a lunatic truck driver.

So in essence, it may be odd, but it seems to be a genuine depiction of a man who is out of his depth standing up for himself and being assertive, but out of desperation he is going beyond his normal self.

"And what about the sh*t weasels, the ones that blast out the basement door" - Col. Curtis

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Yeah but he was wrong.

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Whatever dude, at least I tried.

"And what about the sh*t weasels, the ones that blast out the basement door" - Col. Curtis

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That's what I thought... that he was not the kind of person to act that way, and in his "amateur" way it was the best thing he could come up with in the moment. He was probably scared and thought being so direct would be the way to go.

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That scene makes me cringe so much.

David's a wimp at the start, reflected by the conversation with his wife and not punching out the guy who hit on her, now the big phallic truck is after him and he has to unleash his inner beast. He's a bit dismissive to some of the people he meets on the way as well, you can see how Spielberg continued the beta male theme with Brody in Jaws.

I love this film, but the moment he realises he won't make his appointment he shoulda just turned around anyway.

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i never thought of Brody that way

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