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The Duellists (1977)

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

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

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 swords were hooked up to batteries to produce the sparks, and Harvey Keitel said he was heavily shocked more than once. See more »

Goofs

When d'Hubert and the doctor discuss the ways of avoiding duels with Feraud, the doctor brings two bottles of wine. He hands d'Hubert a corkscrew, but d'Hubert leans back in his chair and starts stuffing his pipe. Yet literally two seconds later the doctor also sits down and picks up a glass from the table, where an opened bottle is standing. d'Hubert has also suddenly got a full glass. 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 The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) 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

A fine wine of a movie
2 July 2002 | by noseyqSee all my reviews

The whole touch and "feel" of this marvellous movie is like slowly sipping a wonderfully rich and satisfying glass of superb wine. At regular moments throughout the film, the director takes the time to give you a photographic setting of the scene and you feel like you're looking at some great painting or masterpiece on canvas while still looking at a piece of atmospheric photography. The duelling is rivettingly realistic and the characters of the two main protagonists are rounded, deep and fascinating. Keitel is just a plain nasty man who is arrogant, hate-filled and remorselessly vindictive, never forgetting an enemy, even one of his own creating from an imagined slight. The resulting feud drags on for about 15 years, with Keitel determined to avenge himself and kill his more honorable and sometimes rather bemused arch-enemy out of blood-lust, pure vindictiveness and a desire to inflict a humiliating defeat - something he is repeatedly denied. The end solution is perfect. Sit back and enjoy a brilliant and ageless portrayal of two men caught up in the Napoleonic Wars, including the mercilessly cold Retreat from Moscow. Usually I don't particularly care for this kind of repeat-fighting gendre of a movie but this somehow manages to climb out of that kind of a mire. Out of 10, I rate this another flawless 10.


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