6.9/10
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93 user 33 critic

Duel in the Sun (1946)

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 5 more credits »

Writers:

(screenplay), (suggested by a novel by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jesse McCanles
...
...
Sen. Jackson McCanles
...
Scott Chavez
...
...
The Sinkiller
...
Sam Pierce
...
Lem Smoot
Joan Tetzel ...
Helen Langford
...
Mrs. Chavez
...
Vashti
Scott McKay ...
Sid
...
Mr. Langford
...
The Lover
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Storyline

When her father is hanged for shooting his wife and her lover, half-breed Pearl Chavez goes to live with distant relatives in Texas. Welcomed by Laura Belle and her elder lawyer son Jesse, she meets with hostility from the ranch-owner himself, wheelchair-bound Senator Jackson McCanles, and with lustful interest from womanising, unruly younger son Lewt. Almost at once, already existing family tensions are exacerbated by her presence and the way she is physically drawn to Lewt. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Emotions . . . As Violent As The Wind-Swept Prairie ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1947 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

King Vidor's Duel in the Sun  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$20,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(roadshow)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer (and uncredited director) David O. Selznick battled amphetamine addiction throughout production. His drug abuse exacerbated much of his erratic behavior during filming, including his constant demand for reshoots. See more »

Goofs

As the army of ranchers is riding across the Texas range to stop the railroad from entering Senator McCanles' land, the weather in the sky overhead changes from clear to cloudy to clear again between shots. See more »

Quotes

Laura Belle McCanles: [to Pearl] Neither your father nor I found happiness in this world, and I'm afraid neither will you.
See more »


Soundtracks

Cowboy's Dream (My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean)
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Frank Perkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Loud, boisterous, silly but hugely enjoyable sex Western
12 November 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A half-breed named Pearl (Jennifer Jones) is sent off to live with her second cousins after her parents are killed. She disrupts the household causing problems between two brothers--one named Lewt (Gregory Peck) who's bad and Jesse (Joseph Cotten) who's good. She also is hated by the father (Lionel Barrymore) and protected by the mother (Lillian Gish).

Beautifully filmed in Technicolor this is a fun movie. The dialogue is full of howlers and, for it's time, this was pretty strong stuff. The emphasis is on sex and that bothered audiences in the late 40s. An entire dance by Jones was cut out and the release of the film was delayed because of the content! Today it's very tame and pretty funny.

Jones is horribly miscast as Pearl. She's very beautiful and wears tight, revealing clothing all through the film, but her acting is terrible. She sneers and glares her way through all her scenes and seems incapable of saying any line believably. Peck is surprisingly very good playing an evil man. Cotten and Gish are stuck with thankless good person roles. Barrymore REALLY chews the scenery. And the opening narration is by Orson Welles!

This movie was made by David O. Selznick to showcase his then girlfriend (and future wife) Jones. Purportedly he made this with serious intentions. It was a big hit but most critics dismissed it as trash. Today it's just a true camp classic. Hysterically bad but beautifully filmed and loads of fun. The climax especially is a howler. A great party flick.

In it's own way, this is a definite must-see.


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