Before such blockbusters as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List made him the world’s best-loved director, Steven Spielberg directed two critically hailed films that foretold the greatness to come. Now, Universal Studios Home Video has announced the release of Duel and The Sugarland Express on DVD.
Duel, originally made for television in 1971 and later released theatrically, is a superbly executed study in terror focusing on a mild-mannered motorist (Dennis Weaver) who is menaced by the deranged driver of an 18-wheeler. Spielberg’s first theatrical feature, 1974’s The Sugarland Express stars Oscar-winner Goldie Hawn in an alternately hilarious and harrowing road film based on the true story of young parents who kidnap a state trooper in a desperate effort to reunite their fractured family. Duel and Sugarland Express are each priced at $19.98 SRP.
Nominated for two Emmys and a Golden Globe, Duel is a high-velocity thriller about an innocent driver terrorized by an evil truck is Spielberg’s first full-length movie. Duel which helped jumpstart the director’s big-screen career, stars Dennis Weaver as a traveling salesman waging a desperate battle for survival after he is mysteriously singled out for destruction. Praised for its deft use of relentlessly mounting psychological tension, Duel features one of the most unforgettably terrifying “characters”
in movie history: a massive, roaring 40-ton truck with more sheer menace than most flesh-and-blood villains. A few years later, Spielberg’s blockbuster Jaws would echo Duel‘s tale of a lone hero in a heart-stopping fight to the finish against a monstrous and inhuman foe. Bonus features include A Conversation with Director Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg and the Small Screen, Richard Matheson: The Writing of “Duel,” Photograph Gallery, Trailer, Cast and Filmmakers and Production Notes. The DVD will be released August 17.
Based on a true story, The Sugarland Express stars Goldie Hawn as Lou Jean Poplin, who together with her escaped convict husband Clovis (William Atherton) kidnaps a Texas State Trooper and leads the police on a wild chase across the state in an effort to save their son from adoption. This rich and complex role was enough to lure superstar Hawn back to the screen after a one-year hiatus following her Oscar-winning performance in Cactus Flower. The film won the Best Screenplay award at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. DVD includes the original theatrical trailer and is also released on August 17.