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The Duellists (1977) - movie overview

The Duellists (1977)

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Quotes (4)
Trivia (2)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

DVD Release Date
 R1: Dec 3, 2002
 R2: 24 Mar 2003

Budget $900,000

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 35 minutes

Country UK

Studio CIC, Enigma Productions, Franco London Films, Paramount

More info on

Other Titles
• The Duellists
• Die Duellisten (1978)

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Genre: Action, War, Period Piece, Military

Plot: "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

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 Directed by
Ridley Scott
Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien
 Written by
Joseph Conrad
Sabotage, Swept from the Sea, Heart of Darkness
Harvey Keitel
Reservoir Dogs, Taxi Driver, From Dusk Till Dawn
Albert Finney
Traffic, Big Fish, Ocean's Twelve
Edward Fox
Lost in Space, Gandhi, Never Say Never Again
Cristina Raines
Nashville, The Sentinel, North Shore
Alun Armstrong
Braveheart, Sleepy Hollow, The Mummy Returns
Keith Carradine
2 Days in the Valley, Nashville, McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Robert Stephens
Empire of the Sun, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Romeo and Juliet
 Music By
Howard Blake
Flash Gordon, My Life So Far, Ten

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