7.5/10
15,729
98 user 62 critic

The Duellists (1977)

PG | | Drama, War | December 1977 (UK)
A small feud between two Napoleonic officers evolves into a decades-long series of duels.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story "The Duel")
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Colonel
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...
Gen. Treillard
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Dr. Jacquin
...
Chevalier
...
...
Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne ...
Second
Gay Hamilton ...
Maid
...
...
Mme. de Lionne
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

December 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Duellists  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical feature film debut of director Ridley Scott who for this film won the Best First Film Award at the 30th Cannes Film Festival in 1977. The movie was also the first film of cinematographer Frank Tidy as well as the first cinema movie of actor Pete Postlethwaite who played the small role of a man shaving General Treillard. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Harvey Keitel's character's sword strikes home in the upper chest (near the heart) of his opponent, then the film cuts to a side view of the opponent depicting the sword as having entered his stomach area. 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.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: STRASBOURG 1800 See more »

Connections

Featured in Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Bist du bei mir
(uncredited)
Music by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
(from "Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach" No. 25. BWV 508)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A fine wine of a movie
2 July 2002 | by (Vancouver Island, British Columbia) – See 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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