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The Duellists (1977)

PG | | Drama, War | February 1978 (UK)
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2:12 | Clip

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A small feud between two Napoleonic officers evolves into a decades-long series of duels.

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 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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

February 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Los duelistas See more »

Filming Locations:

Aquitaine, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's source short story by Joseph Conrad, was based on a true story of two real-life French Hussar officers, who regularly fought real duels together during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. Nick Evangelista said of this real-life story in "The Encyclopedia of the Sword": "As a young officer in Napoleon's Army, Dupont was ordered to deliver a disagreeable message to a fellow officer, Fournier, a rabid duelist. Fournier, taking out his subsequent rage on the messenger, challenged Dupont to a duel. This sparked a succession of encounters, waged with sword and pistol, that spanned decades. The contest was eventually resolved when Dupont was able to overcome Fournier in a pistol duel, forcing him to promise never to bother him again." See more »

Goofs

During their second duel (in a cellar) one of their sabers scrapes against the stone wall and makes sparks. In the DVD commentary the director explains that this was done by taping an electrified wire mesh to the wall. The mesh is visible if you look closely. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: STRASBOURG 1800 See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'Kingdom of Heaven': Interactive Production Grid (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

definitely worth watching
14 May 2002 | by b4peaceSee all my reviews

Seems this film has left most viewers with only positive comments to make (quite rare actually). I agree with most of them.

This is a very believable film and is beautiful to watch in parts thanks to Scott's eye for design and natural beauty, esepecially regarding the use of light.

I was mesmerised to know how it was all going to end. I was so sure it was going to end tragically but then was surprised and elevated by the ending that showed the richness & depth of the human experience. I believe there's some meaning for us all in this movie. And I got to hear about this movie by accident!

An amazing quality of a film overall when you read about it's history, which was almost not made!

8/10


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