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High Dezert Hollywood: Duel LbNA #57698 (ARCHIVED)

Owner:Kelsung Contact
Plant date:May 1, 2011
Location: 9661 Sierra Hwy
City:Agua Dulce
County:Los Angeles
Found by: ScienceQueen
Last found:Dec 23, 2015
Last edited:Jun 14, 2021
Retired as of 12/14/20

A Little about Dezert Ratty's Series - High Dezert Hollywood:

Since the dawn of film the High Desert has been a favorite location for Hollywood Film as well as Television. It's also been an area for movie stars to live and play. This series is meant to be a fun tour and a tribute that she's hoping will keep us coming back for years to come as more are added. Since anyone who would like to contribute is more than welcome, I planted two of my own.

Steven Spielberg's feature length directorial debut, Duel was made for the CBS Saturday Night Movie and originally aired November 13th, 1971. It was filmed in three weeks, entirely on location in the areas around Acton and Agua Dulce, on a budget of $450,000. The thriller was well received by critics, so Universal funded some additional filming to expand it from 74 minutes to 90 minutes and gave it a European theatrical release.

The movie starts with businessman David Mann (Dennis Weaver) driving along the highway when he begins being toyed with by the unseen driver of an ominous big-rig. Things slowly escalate from annoying to dangerous to homicidal as David desperately tries to escape the deadly cat-and-mouse game. Spielberg will go on to use the same tension-building action of a relentless attacker in the form of a great white shark and a tyrannosaurus rex. The three additional scenes in the theatrical release (David's phone call to his wife, the broken down school bus and the scene at the railroad tracks) not only add a couple more characters, but actually add a significant amount of dialogue to what is really an almost purely visual action-thriller.

The quirkiest character in the film is the old lady of Sally's Snakerama Gas Station who has cages full of various desert critters. This scene was filmed at what is now the Pepper Tree Liquor Store. Take Ague Dulce Canyon Road until it ends at Sierra Highway, then head east for .8 miles to Peppertree Lane. This is the location, but the box is gone.