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Plymouth Valiant - Duel

Published: 20 October 2008

Ranking: 40      

Year of release: 1971

The car: Plymouth Valiant.

Why it’s special: It’s a psychological car chase.

Best bit: When the Plymouth starts to overheat and the truck comes slowly into focus in the background

Pub fact: Duel was originally shown as a 74-minute-long TV movie, but director Steven Spielberg added 16 more minutes to make it film-length. These extra minutes included the railway crossing and school bus scenes plus lead role David Mann’s phone call to his wife..

Plot overview: David Mann is a salesman travelling across California. When he passes a truck driver, the driver takes offence for some reason and pursues him relentlessly across the State.

For: Tension, making a truck seem like a convincing serial killer, Mann’s descent into madness

Against: It’s a rubbish car

CAR verdict: Original, gripping, brilliant

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By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator