Fencing is a science. Loving is a passion. Duelling is an obsession.
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- Released: December 3, 2019
- Originally Released: 1977
- Label: Paramount
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Note: Commentary by director Ridley Scott
- Commentary and isolated score by Howard Blake
- Dueling directors: Ridley Scott and Kevin Reynolds featurette
- Boy and Bicycle: Ridley Scott's first short film
- Photo galleries
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English, French
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, French
- Subtitles - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Keith Carradine & Harvey Keitel|
|Performer:||Albert Finney, Edward Fox, Cristina Raines, Tom Conti, Alun Armstrong, Diana Quick & Robert Stephens|
|Directed by||Ridley Scott|
|Edited by||Pamela Power|
|Narrated by||Stacy Keach|
|Composition by||Howard Blake|
|Produced by||David Puttnam|
|Director of Photography:||Frank Tidy|
Cannes 1977 - Jury Prize
Keitel struggles gamely against a wooden Carradine, but the American influences further dislocate a script that delivers little observation, psychological or social, on their running feud. Full Review
Rating: B -- The accounts of the wars lack passion and left me more disinterested in this brilliant story than I should have been. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Rating: 3.5/5 -- It is precise, intelligent, civilized, and because it never for a moment mistakes its narrative purpose.
New York Times
What is most surprising about this incredible movie is the exceptional beauty of its images. [Full Review in Spanish] Full Review
El Pais (Spain)
... one of the most strikingly pictorial movies ever made. Full Review
Rating: 4/5 -- The richness of Scott's visuals, the excellence of the performances and the depth of the themes combine to make a minor masterpiece. Full Review
Rating: 3/4 -- Scott's approach to his material seems essentially a stylistic one; it imposes itself upon the story rather than visa-versa, giving an account of the Napoleonic wars that lacks passion and depth, despite the expert visuals. Full Review
"To the surprise and admiration of their fellows, two officers, like insane artists, trying to gild refined gold or paint the lily, pursued a private contest through the years of universal carnage." Thus wrote Joseph Conrad in the opening paragraphs of the story that provides the basis for Ridley Scott's first feature. During the era of the Napoleonic wars, a conflict arises between two of the emperor's cavalry officers when one of them, the aristocratic Lt. D'Hubert (Keith Carradine), is sent by his superior to deliver the message to commoner Lt. Ferraud (Harvey Keitel) that he's to be placed under house arrest for having wounded a man in another duel. Since Ferraud is with a woman at the time, he takes offense at the intrusion and challenges D'Hubert to a duel. Their match, though fierce, is without resolution. Whenever their paths cross, they continue their battle, fighting a series of six duels over the course of 14 years, paralleling Napoleon's major battles of the period. Scott's meditation focuses on the absurd vanity behind the old European code of honor--and the nature of warfare itself. All the distinguishing marks of Scott's later work is already on display here, from the meticulous re-creation of period costume, decor, and behavior to the lush, carefully composed photography.
Director Ridley Scott's atmospheric first feature film, set during the Napoleonic Wars, follows a pair of French officers as they fight a series of increasingly vicious duels.
- Theatrical release: January 14, 1978 (N.Y.).
- THE DUELLISTS was shown in competition at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 1977.
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