The Duellists (1977) 1080p

Movie Poster
The Duellists (1977) 1080p bluray - Movie Poster
Drama | War
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 5.1  
Run Time:
100 min
IMDB Rating:
7.4 / 10 
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Directors: Ridley Scott [Director] ,

Movie Description:
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.


  • The Duellists (1977) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • The Duellists (1977) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • The Duellists (1977) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1

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Great debut from Ridley Scott

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.

One of Ridley's Finest Moments

An early masterpiece by Ridley Scott with two superb actors playing the two main characters (two officers of the French Grande Army): Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel. This is not your usual swashbuckler or costume movie but a fine look into a past time and into a very different code of honor and bravery.

I watched it a couple of times and I dare to say: timeless and a must-watch.

A Flawless Miracle.

Ridley Scott obviously recruited God as his Assistant Director in this, one of the two or three most marvellous films I've seen. After 75 years I've seen a few. Perfectly cast, perfectly written, perfectly acted, perfectly directed and perfectly shot. Towards the end Ridley simply said: we need to bathe the scene in sunlight here; and God obliged. The scene is reminiscent of a famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich.

At a certain point Ridley thought it would add spice if the horses started to love each other, and God agreed. There are the usual occasional half-witted reviews, by people who can't understand what the story is about, or who object to the accents. Do these people have the faintest idea what early 19th century French sounded like? Keitel and Carradine were perfect in their parts, accent-wise and every other-wise.

Given the reported budget of a farcical $900,000, these actors must all have played their parts for nothing. So Finney walked off with a crate of champagne.

It is sadly true, and must be accepted, that Scott must have taken some notice of clunky Barry Lyndon, in particular the natural lighting. It's as if Scott said to himself, I think I can see what you're trying to do, Stanley. I'll just show you how to do it.

I saw Kubrick's Lyndon, many years ago, and, except for the lighting, it struck me, end to end, as utterly tedious, pointless garbage. Kubrick was essentially little more than a somewhat mediocre stills photographer.

The Duellists is multi-layered, subtle, thought-provoking; historically, politically, socially, psychologically, stimulating. It raises questions, and suggests answers.

It is known that Conrad fairly closely based his tale on the animosity recorded between two actual Napoleonic officers, named Dupont and Fournier. Fournier gained the soubriquet "El Demonio". These two fought at least 30 duels over a 19 year period, starting in 1794. Dupont referred to Fournier as "the worst subject of the Grande Armée". Look them up.

The Duellists reminds me of what Polanski said about Chinatown: that he didn't realise he had created what others called a masterpiece. It's time the public, and perhaps Scott himself, began to understand that with this film he created a true masterpiece, for all ages. But the self-appointed connoisseurs voted for Vertigo, God Help Us.
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