This Saturday on Svengoolie is DUEL, a 1971 American action-thriller television film directed by Steven Spielberg. It centers on a business commuter, played by Dennis Weaver, driving his car through California to meet a client. However, he finds himself chased and terrorized by the mostly unseen driver of a semi-truck. The screenplay by Richard Matheson adapts his own short story of the same name.
Produced by Universal Television, DUEL originally aired as a part of the ABC Movie of the Week series on November 13, 1971. It later received an international theatrical release in an extended version featuring scenes shot after the film’s original TV broadcast. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with Spielberg’s direction being singled out for praise. It has since been recognized as an influential cult classic, one of the greatest made-for-television films ever made.