What Hate Can Do

S M Chen
9 min readFeb 19, 2023

I re-viewed “Duel” recently. Based on a short story by Richard Matheson, the 1971 film featured actor Dennis Weaver (perhaps better remembered as Matt Dillon’s assistant Chester in the long-running TV show “Gunsmoke”) as a put-upon business commuter on a long drive to meet a client.

I make no apology for issuing some spoiler alerts, in that readers will likely have seen the film. And, if they haven’t by now, they probably won’t.

Movie poster

Directed by auteur Steven Spielberg before he became perhaps better known for other cinematic offerings, Weaver, driving a red Plymouth Valiant, encounters a malevolent semi-truck driver whose face we never see.

The fear of the unknown is often greater than that of the known.

We do see the truck driver wearing cowboy boots.

For reasons unclear, the trucker has it in for Weaver. But this fact alone does not strain credulity. There are a lot of crazy drivers out there, and they may have their reasons. Or not.

Cross them at your own risk.

Road rage is no respecter of persons.

Nowadays some may be packing heat.

In ‘Duel,’ neither Weaver nor the trucker were.

The trucker’s diesel may have been souped up. It seems to have little trouble keeping up with Weaver, who at…