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The Duellists (1977)

PG | | Drama, War | February 1978 (UK)
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2:12 | Clip
France, 1801. Due to a minor, perceived slight mild-mannered Lieutenant d'Hubert is forced into a duel with the hot-headed, irrational Lieutenant Feraud. The disagreement ultimately results in scores of duels, spanning several years.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Gerald Vaughan-Hughes (screenplay), Joseph Conrad (story "The Duel")
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Carradine ... Armand d'Hubert
Harvey Keitel ... Gabriel Feraud
Albert Finney ... Fouché
Edward Fox ... Colonel
Cristina Raines ... Adèle
Robert Stephens ... Gen. Treillard
Tom Conti ... Dr. Jacquin
John McEnery ... Amiable Second
Diana Quick ... Laura
Alun Armstrong ... Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne Maurice Colbourne ... Tall Second
Gay Hamilton Gay Hamilton ... Maid
Meg Wynn Owen ... Léonie
Jenny Runacre ... Mme. de Lionne
Alan Webb ... Chevalier
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Storyline

Set during the grand, sweeping Napoleonic age, an officer in the French army insults another officer and sets off a life-long enmity. The two officers, D'Hubert and Feraud, cross swords time and time again in an attempt to achieve justice and preserve their honor. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fencing is a science. Loving is a passion. Duelling is an obsession.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Kevin Reynolds was hired to direct The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), which is also set during the Napoleonic era, he chose Tom Rand as the costume designer based on his work designing this film's costumes. See more »

Goofs

When Carradine is meeting with Finney, who sits down in a chair in front of a mirror, the very top of the camera is visible in the bottom of the mirror, as he sits down in his chair. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The duellist demands satisfaction. Honour, for him, is an appetite. This story is about an eccentric kind of hunger. It is a true story and begins in the year that Napoleon Bonaparte became ruler of France.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: STRASBOURG 1800 See more »

Connections

References Sanjuro (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Bist du bei mir
(uncredited)
Music by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
(from "Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach" No. 25. BWV 508)
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User Reviews

 
Great debut from Ridley Scott
15 October 2019 | by grantssSee all my reviews

France, 1801. Due to a minor, perceived slight, mild-mannered Lieutenant d'Hubert is forced into a duel with the hot-headed, irrational Lieutenant Feraud. The disagreement ultimately results in scores of duels, spanning several years.

Based on Joseph Conrad's book 'The Duel', which was based on true story, this was Ridley Scott's first film as director. And a great debut film it is. Intriguing, engaging story, spanning 15 years.

The contrast between the two combatants is stark, the reason for the duel so arbitrary and the potential outcome of the contest so needlessly wasteful that you're invested in the outcome, and a bit angry that this is even taking place.

Scott and writer Gerald Vaughan-Hughes give the character of d'Hubert a fair amount of depth, adding to the engagement and investment.

Another great feature is the cinematography. Some great shots and scenes.

Solid performance by Keith Carradine as d'Hubert. Harvey Keitel doesn't have much dialogue as Feraud but he is well cast as the hard-headed, actions-rather-than-words character.

Judging by Ridley Scott's next two films, The Duellists clearly lifted his profile. His next film was Alien, his third was Blade Runner.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

February 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Duellists See more »

Filming Locations:

Aquitaine, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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