Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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"Duel" (1971) Trailer
Mint Canyon | Sierra Highway | Agua Dulce


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Universal Pictures' theatrial trailer for director Steven Spielberg's first full-length movie, "Duel," shot on location primarily along Sierra Highway from Vasquez Canyon Road north through Mint Canyon to Agua Dulce, Acton and the Antelope Valley (including Chuck's Cafe truck stop — the old rock house on Sierra Highway later known as Le Chene French Cuisine restaurant — seen briefly in this trailer).

Written by horror/sci-fi author Richard Matheson ("Hell House," "What Dreams May Come," "I Am Legend"), directed by Spielberg and produced for Universal TV by George Eckstein (television's "The Fugitive," "Banacek"), "Duel" made its U.S. debut Nov. 13, 1971 (Nov. 11 in Canada) as an ABC-TV movie of the week. It starred Dennis Weaver as an average motorist terrorized by a crazed big-rig driver (played by stunt driver Carey Loftin), who is never clearly identified. It ends in a firey crash as the truck goes over the side of Vasquez Canyon Road at Mystery Mesa.

(Weaver was no stranger to the SCV; most of his "Gunsmoke" appearances were shot elsewhere, but he played in several made-in-SCV feature films such as the 1953 Rock Hudson vehicle, "The Lawless Breed.")

"Duel" was released in foreign movie theaters in 1973, and it made the Toronto (Canada) International Film Festival in 1977. It was released as a feature film in U.S. theaters April 22, 1983.

Further reading: Dennis Weaver, Western Actor (obit); Unraveling the Mystery of the Mesa.

OAKS GARAGE/CAFE
LE CHÊNE RESTAURANT

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Garage & Refreshment Stand 1918

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Garage ~1918

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Soda & Candy Counter ~1918

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Dodrill Tent Home ~1918

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New Exterior ~1923

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Oaks Cafe ~1923

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RPPC 1920s

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Oaks Cafe ~1923

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Duel Trailer 1971

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Interior of Diner ~1980

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1998 Senior Center Wine Auction

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Oaks Cafe Relic 2014

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