Tonight we watched another film with links back to our summer coast-to-coast trip, Stephen Spielberg’s 1971 television film, Duel. Our hotel in Flagstaff backed on to a truckers’ station and so we got to admire some of America’s freight-hauling fleet from up close, and we also rode through some of the California countryside featured in the film. We were all agreed that this film owes a lot to Hitchcock, in the way it builds tension and the way in which the everyday becomes possibly threatening and ultimately positively evil. But it is also typically Spielbergian (does that term exist?) in the way everyman is set against adversity and ultimately wins through. The version we watched this evening had been stretched out for the cinema, and it showed. (I much preferred the shorter, more taut television version I saw many moons ago.) Still, this film was, deservedly and understandably, Spielberg’s big break. Who or what is Dennis Weaver’s character (the innocent car driver) dealing with? A mad man? A macho man? Or some sort of ghost, an evil spirit? The viewer never knows and never needs to know because, in the end, Weaver wins.