Made for ABC-TV, Steven Spielberg's first solo directing credit (he contributed a segment for the pilot-film for the TV series "Night Gallery.") is an exquisite piece of streamlined suspense and action that clearly demonstrates that the 24-year-old filmmaker was already in full control of
A largely non-verbal narrative follows a milquetoast everyman (Dennis Weaver) on a business trip that draws him out of the comfortable suburbs and into the barren desert. Still smarting from a fight with his wife--in which she complained he wasn't assertive enough--Mann cuts in front of a diesel
truck. Several miles later the vengeful truck reappears, horn blaring,...