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The Grand Duel (1972)
"Il grande duello" (original title)

R  |   |  Western  |  1974 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,462 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 33 critic

A grizzled ex-sheriff helps a man framed for murder to confront the powerful trio of brothers who want him dead.

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Title: The Grand Duel (1972)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheriff Clayton
Alberto Dentice ...
Philipp Wermeer (as Peter O'Brien)
Jess Hahn ...
Bighorse the Stage Driver
Horst Frank ...
David Saxon / Patriarch Samuel Saxon
Klaus Grünberg ...
Adam Saxon (as Klaus Grunberg)
Antonio Casale ...
Hole the Bounty Hunter (as Antony Vernon)
Marc Mazza ...
Sheriff Eli Saxon
Dominique Darel ...
Elisabeth, Adam's Bride to Be
Alessandra Cardini ...
Anita, One of Madame Oro's Girls (as Sandra Cardini)
Gastone Pescucci ...
Borghese - the Caretaker
Elvira Cortese ...
Madame Oro, Stage Passenger
Anna Maria Gherardi ...
Saxon's Girl
Hans Terofal ...
Jo Barrel
Salvatore Baccaro ...
Saloon Servant
Remo Capitani ...
Bounty Hunter (as Ray O'Connor)
Edit

Storyline

Philipp Wermeer has been framed for the murder of a powerful figure known as The Patriarch. Wermeer escapes, but the three Saxon brothers, sons of The Patriarch, have arranged for a large bounty on Wermeer's head. Clayton is a grizzled ex-sheriff stripped of his office in Jefferson after refusing to acknowledge Wermeer's guilt. During a series of fire-fights, Clayton contrives to help Wermeer escape from attacks of bounty-hunters. Together, the two make their way to Jefferson, where they can confront the three powerful Saxon brothers, and reveal the surprising truth about who killed The Patriarch. Written by Charles Delacroix

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A one man Judge, Jury and Executioner who turns the Wild West into a Blood Bath! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grand Duel  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The film takes place during the old west sometime after 1870. However it features a German MG42 machine gun. The MG42 was put into service by the German army in 1942 during WWII. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Madame Oro, Stage Passenger: Hey Driver, can't you put the fear of God into those mules of yours?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Van Cleef once again delivers the goods.
16 May 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Ernesto Gastaldi ("My Name is Nobody", "Torso") wrote this very fine film that neatly combines the Spaghetti Western and murder mystery genres. Alberto Dentice plays Philipp Wermeer, a man desperate to know the identity of the man who shot his father. Philipp himself is accused of murdering the evil Patriarch of a desert town, and escapes from prison. Assisting Philipp is leathery former sheriff Clayton (Lee Van Cleef), who believes Philipp to be innocent. On the other side are the Patriarchs' angry sons, one of whom, David (Horst Frank) is a power hungry madman.

Director Giancarlo Santi was Sergio Leones' assistant director on "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Once Upon a Time in the West", and it's obvious that he learned all the right lessons. He gives "The Grand Duel" a very operatic feel, enhanced in no small part by the majestic soundtrack composed by Luis Bacalov and Sergio Bardotti. It's a score good enough to compare favourably to the best work of Morricone. The widescreen photography is simply gorgeous. The story is well paced and entertaining, no matter if the viewer figures things out before the climactic revelation or not. One very nice touch is the way that Santi shoots the flashback sequences (in which Frank also plays the Patriarch), in atmospheric black & white. The stunts are impressively acrobatic and the action is first rate. The final showdown of the title is over fairly quickly but that doesn't make it any less effective.

Van Cleef displays a quiet cool, as he always does, and the rugged Dentice is engaging as the murder suspect. The performances across the board are quite hearty, especially from the likes of Jess Hahn, as Bighorse the stage driver, and Antonio Casale as nefarious bounty hunter Hole. Klaus Grunbergs' effeminate performance as Adam Saxon, a young man clearly not that happy at the thought of marriage to a woman, is amusing.

A solid example of the genre overall, recommended to its devotees.

Eight out of 10.


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