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Duel on the Mississippi (1955)

 -  Drama  -  16 September 1955 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 44 users  
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In 1820, André Tulane (Lex Barker), hot-tempered scion of a Louisiana plantation family, is debt-bound to Lili Scarlet (Patricia Medina),notorious gambling-ship queen, and the daughter of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
André Tulane
...
Lili Scarlet
...
Hugo Marat
Craig Stevens ...
René LaFarge
...
Jules Tulane
Ian Keith ...
Jacques Scarlet
Chris Alcaide ...
Anton
John Mansfield ...
Louie
...
Celeste Tulane
Louis Merrill ...
Georges Gabriel (as Lou Merrill)
Mel Welles ...
Sheriff
Jean Del Val ...
Bidault
Baynes Barron ...
Gaspard
Vince Townsend Jr. ...
Benedict (as Vince M. Townsend Jr.)
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Storyline

In 1820, André Tulane (Lex Barker), hot-tempered scion of a Louisiana plantation family, is debt-bound to Lili Scarlet (Patricia Medina),notorious gambling-ship queen, and the daughter of Jacques Scarlet (Ian Keith (I)'), a former pirate with Jean Lafitte. André helps Lili fight off the river pirates led by her former Fiance Hugo Marat (Warren Stevens), after he has seized control of Lili's gambling-boat. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE FURY, THE FEUDS, THE FLAMING LOVES OF LILI SCARLET--AMERICA'S MOST NOTORIOUS GAMBLING QUEEN! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mestiça do Mississipi  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
DUEL ON THE MISSISSIPPI (William Castle, 1955) **1/2
27 April 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Well, I have had to go back on my word one more time with respect to non-Horror films by the director incorporated both as part of my centenary tribute to him and my Epic Easter marathon; given its riverboat/gambling/Old South backdrop, I had mentally classified this as more of a Western but, looking at stills from it and checking out its plot line, the sight of swordfights and the mention of piracy sure changed my mind! Anyway, the addition of the film to my schedule had its downside as well, as the gorgeous-looking (albeit TV-sourced) print I watched proved problematic – with the image getting scrambled every once in a while!

The film, then, was a mere 68 minutes in length: indeed, I must say that, had Castle not subsequently embarked upon his Horror career, his reputation would probably never have been made – despite his prolific pre-1958 output; that is not to say that it is bad, but it certainly had routine, journeyman, even cheap (produced by Sam Katzman: enough said!) written all over it – with this in mind, this early phase of his work has not been pursued by avid fans of his Horror efforts nearly enough.

This, again, co-stars Patricia Medina who unsurprisingly begins as an antagonist to hero Lex Barker, only to eventually reform (she is the spirited daughter of the leader of a gang of raiders stealing the sugar from various plantations, one of which is owned by Barker's father John Dehner) and fall for him; interestingly, when the old man is threatened with bankruptcy and a spell in debtors' prison, Barker offers his services as a personal slave to Medina…but also contrives to challenge her hot-headed foreman Warren Stevens (who prides himself on his lethal abilities with a rapier) to a duel which, if killed in, would effectively discharge Dehner from all obligations to Medina! Obviously, he survives (even wounding Stevens himself) – but the two men ultimately settle their score via another face-off, albeit fought by way of a machete!

The film is colourful and enjoyable, but also ordinary and forgettable; the cast helps, with Ian Keith (as Medina's brandy-loving father) relishing his roguish part, as opposed to the humourless villains he was often relegated to playing, a role here filled – quite ably, I might add – by Stevens. As for leading man Barker (who numbered actresses Lana Turner and Arlene Dahl among his five spouses!), he had a pretty continental and varied filmography – which saw him going from Hollywood Tarzan to German Winnetou (aka Old Shatterhand) and various other adventures and thrillers along the way, before prematurely expiring from a heart attack in 1973. Incidentally, thanks to this viewing, I have just added a quintet of the star's vehicles (3 of them Italian costumers!) to my collection...


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