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Duel, The Truck Driver (Carey Loftin)

Site Rating: 70%
(ratings: 3)
Writeup Rating: 73%
(ratings: 3)
Film: Duel (1971)
Deceased Character: The Truck Driver (Carey Loftin)
Archetype: Baddy (Major)
Killed by: David Mann (Dennis Weaver)
Killed with: Cliff

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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 28th Feb 2006

Kindly submitted by A Concerned Citizen

Although the death is never confirmed onscreen, I thought it was still cool. The story that takes us to this point is that an ordinary everyday American driver, David Mann, is driving through the Californian desert when, on his journey, he has the misfortune to be terrorised by some lunatic, who is never seen (it could be Maris Crane), driving a large truck.

As we reach the film's finale, Mann's car has, by this point, overheated and he is driving in neutral, barely moving at the speed of a milk float, when the Truck appears in the distance. The backdrop of this final "joust" is a steep, sandy cliff. Afficionados of Hollywood can see what is going to happen next.....

Mann, whos sanity is hanging by a thread at this point, decides to play chicken with the oncoming truck. At the right moment though he jams his briefcase on the accelarator, and dives out of the car in the nick of time. The truck ploughs into the car, which bursts into flames.

However, the truck driver, having displayed some of the most skillful and dangerous driving one can perform in an 18-wheeler, now somehow forgets that cliffs have edges, and speeds toward this one. The Truck Driver slams his foot on the brake and beeps his horn, even though they are in the middle of a desert with no-one around to hear them, but alas, all of this is to no avail, and the truck falls over the edge of the cliff with Mann's car.

The truck hits the ground, after a slow motion fall sequence, sending dust everywhere. However, the truck does not blow up and as the wheels of this maniac's rig gradually stops spinning, the mystery remains as to who he was and if he is really dead.

3 categories : Falling, Crash, Offscreen Killing

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Other Death Reviews for Duel (1971)

The Truck Driver (Carey Loftin)

Last Updated: 2nd Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 12534
This review has 12 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'Karl_Eichholtz_13' (reply to this comment)
did The Truck Driver have any lines or was he mute?
Comment 2 by 'The Doctor' (reply to this comment)
He was mute, Karl. Hell, you never even SEE him.
Comment 3 by 'Mr. Briggs Incorporated' (reply to this comment)
I think quoting deaths is just Karl's "thing"!

Also, I think this is exactly why people think "Chase" should also count for deaths of the chasers.

p.s. Did you know that Carey Loftin is one of the founders of the Screen Actors Guild?
Comment 4 by 'The Doctor' (reply to this comment)
No, I did not.
Comment 5 by 'Karl_Eichholtz_13' (reply to this comment)
why cause Carey Loftin was a stuntman like Bill Cummings,Romo Gorrara,Bob Simmons,Rocky Taylor,George Leech,and other stuntmen and stuntwomen?
Comment 6 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
[quote=Karl_Eichholtz_13]why cause Carey Loftin was a stuntman like Bill Cummings,Romo Gorrara,Bob Simmons,Rocky Taylor,George Leech,and other stuntmen and stuntwomen?[/quote]Yes! Just like them!

Why "Offscreen"? We never see the driver at all, but the truck itself is a better example of the killer's identity.
Comment 7 by 'Meat Hook' (reply to this comment)
Errr... are you sure he slams his brakes on? I seem to remember him changing gear and speeding up? He certainly doesn't make any great effort to avoid going of the cliff.

Is this a suicide?
Comment 8 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
Why would he kill himself?
Comment 9 by 'Meat Hook' (reply to this comment)
Why would he chase David Mann for hundreds of miles?

He's insane.

Anyway, I'm not sure why he would do that, but I am going to watch the movie again to see if he [i]does[i] commit suicide.

Perhaps he knew he'd been beat, so decided to go out in a blaze of glory? The truck is metaphorical anyway.
Comment 10 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
[quote=Meathook]Perhaps he knew he'd been beat, so decided to go out in a blaze of glory? The truck is metaphorical anyway.[/quote]No, he was lost in the smoke of Mann's putting car, he was clearly still trying to run him down.
Comment 11 by 'Mark Titan' (reply to this comment)
Carey Loftin also did stunt work in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World & This story was based on a real life event where The Author got a taste of road rage & wrote about it & the story was a hit. Also The term, The David Mann Experience is termed as being chased by a crazy truck driver.
Comment 12 by 'Grouper' (reply to this comment)
The truck driver is undoubtedly dead because there is a shot with a bloodied hand in the wreckage, and blood dripping from the steering wheel. The truck driver's face was never shown, and he has no spoken lines. He also stayed outside in his truck at the diner scene, despite popular belief. As to people wondering how the truck could catch Mann's smaller, faster car so quickly, remember Mann's thought in the diner: "He has some, some, some souped-up (modified) diesel [engine]. The multiple license plates on the truck are there to imply that the driver is a serial killer.