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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 »
Reviews

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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
Edit

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

The British writing-directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were shown a pre-release screening of the film by producer David O. Selznick. Both were thoroughly unimpressed with the movie, but didn't want to offend Selznick by saying so. At the end of the film, when Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones are crawling towards each other on a mountain and when they get near each other they both open fire, Pressburger turned to Powell and whispered, "What a pity they didn't shoot the screenwriter". See more »

Goofs

When Jesse is sitting in his hotel room, a rock flies through the window, breaking the glass. As Jesse opens the window, a piece of glass falls down and sticks into the lower edge of the window frame. This piece of glass disappears between shots as Jesse talks to the cowboy Sid outside. See more »

Quotes

Pearl Chavez: And you'll forget about... about tonight, won't you? You'll forget it?
Jesse McCanles: No, I don't think I'll forget. I don't think I'll ever be able to. I shouldn't have told you the way I felt. It wasn't fair. There I go again, trying to be fair.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Showman (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Heel and Toe Polka
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Frank Perkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Unique Film Work
26 July 2000 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

The restored "Road Show" DVD of David O. Selznick's production of "Duel in the Sun" is a most impressive experience. What this restoration has done is to place the viewer back to 1946 at the premiere itself.

Selznick's vision was huge, romantic, and sumptuous. He had the means to spare no expense or effort in realizing this grandiose concept. The result is a sweeping drama set in the west, yet rising above the normal trappings of most movie westerns.

First a trio of photographers headed by the peerless Lee Garmes, and assisted by Ray Rennahan and Hal Rosson, provided a rich and colorful canvas of romantic artistry and beauty. Then a screenplay by producer Selznick emphasized the Gothic and overripe emotions with great relish. If you're going to do it, do it, was the attitude. Let the trash explode on the screen. Added to this formidable group of artists came director King Vidor, beautifully directing a carefully chosen and extremely talented cast, and creating some magnificent and memorable set pieces.

Lastly came the legendary composer, Dimitri Tiomkin, crafting a superb score, exuding the pent up and released emotions of the characters and painting the hot and sultry essence of the desert setting. The way to fully experience the Selznick vision is to take the time to position one's self before the DVD monitor, adjust the sound volume to near peak level, and absorb the score from the first note of the 15-minute Prelude, the 5-minute Overture, through the 144-minute drama, and continue until the final, crashing chord of the 5-minute Postlude (Exit Music). Only then will the true meaning and power of "Duel in the Sun" be realized.

It's a one-of-a-kind film work, and a lasting tribute to that mad, disorganized, titanic and great genius of film production, Selznick.


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