MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 238 this week

The Duellists (1977)

 -  Drama | War  -  December 1977 (UK)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 12,501 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 51 critic

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 26 Jul 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 26 Jun 2012
 
list image
a list of 24 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Duellists" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Duellists (1977)

The Duellists (1977) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Duellists.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A married New York cop falls for the socialite murder witness he's been assigned to protect.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tom Berenger, Mimi Rogers, Lorraine Bracco
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas and the effect this has on the indigenous people.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Sigourney Weaver
White Squall (1996)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, John Savage
Black Rain (1989)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him back to Japan. In Japan, ... See full summary »

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
Legend (1985)
Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Seven short films - each one focused on the plight of a different child protagonist.

Directors: Mehdi Charef, Emir Kusturica, and 6 more credits »
Stars: Adama Bila, Elysée Rouamba, Rodrigue Ouattara
G.I. Jane (1997)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A female Senator succeeds in enrolling a woman into Combined Reconnaissance Team training where everyone expects her to fail.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Demi Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Anne Bancroft
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel
A Good Year (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Abbie Cornish, Albert Finney
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A teenage boy plays truant from school, and spends the day riding around the town and the deserted beach on his bicycle, letting his mind wander as he imagines he is the only person in the world.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tony Scott
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Colonel
...
...
Gen. Treillard
...
Dr. Jacquin
...
Chevalier
...
...
Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne ...
Second
Gay Hamilton ...
Maid
Meg Wynn Owen ...
Jenny Runacre ...
Mme. de Lionne
Alan Webb ...
Chevalier
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

December 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Duellists  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

During their second duel (in a cellar) one of the large fill lights is visible in a doorway just at the end of the scene. The Director points this out in the 'cast commentary' on the DVD release. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: STRASBOURG 1800 See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'Kingdom of Heaven': Interactive Production Grid (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Casting Of A Perfect Shadow
16 April 2003 | by (Lemgo / Germany) – See all my reviews

The Duellists is remarkable in lots of ways. For one, it's a masterpiece debut. It's also one of the very rare films putting a director on the map who keeps delivering what the debut already displayed in abundance. What's more, it is even rarer in so far that this movie hasn't aged a single day, which can't be explained away with the fact that it's a period piece. It stands the test of time as flawlessly as two other legendary debuts, Orson Welles's Citisen Kane and John Huston's Maltese Falcon. The flipside displays a mystery. The Duellists is an almost totally unknown film. To this day it hasn't earned what it had cost to make it in 1977: 900.000$. That, without doubt, makes it the most underrated masterpiece by one of THE directors of his generation.

The basis was simple and commanding: The adaptation of the classic Joseph Conrad story 'The Duel'. The result is a lesson in perfect cinematic storytelling. And it's also a lesson in the forgotten art of low budget moviemaking. Not a single frame suggests that 'more' would've been better. The required economy of every single aspect of production always finds its perfect answer in the execution of the story. What you can't see or hear doesn't need to be there. It's as simple as that. Suffice to say, Ridley Scott being the director he is, The Duellists is visually superb and at the same time devoid of a single frame just being there to look good. His visual style is completely dependent on the substance of the story as well as the acting. That becomes blindingly obvious in his weaker films, where he resorts to 'beautifying' an empty shell. No other great director is as much a slave of the story's quality, before he can become its master. But once a strong moment, a powerful dialogue, a strong character hits his senses, he 'translates' their life into his unique visual language. In that he is almost without comparison. What we sometimes later perceive as only beautiful is always as essential to the story as a note in a symphony is essential to the next one to make 'sense'. The almost hauntingly arcadian, rural opening shot of the movie is a perfect example. The little girl with her geese leads us through innocence and peace across the screen... and bumps with us into the towering Husar blocking the path. No words. Just eyes making the girl lead her geese away from the path, away from what the Husar is guarding against unwanted onlookers. We're already hooked into the story on more than one level, and the cut to the duellists on the open field tells us where paradise ends. That's Ridley Scott in his purest form. The beauty of his style is in fact visual drama, and the power of his language is as visible now as it was in 1977. In 'Gladiator', watch the transition from Maximus's cornfild dream to the tortured earth of the battlefield in Germania and you'll see what I mean. That's why Scott is also an actor's director. He always makes sense to them and the characters with every move of the camera and sets them in the best possible light for what's required. He likes good actors, which isn't as normal as one might think. There isn't a hollow second to be found in each and every performance on The Duellists. That the casting is flawless down to the last extra helped, of course. All this explains much of the ageless quality of the movie. No hollow set pieces to 'jazz it up a bit'. Only authentic locations and no built sets. Costumes, makeup, props... everything totally convincing and fitting to the period. It's virtually impossible to determine the movie's age without knowing the actors. Scott turned an ageless story into an ageless movie. An excellent script and extremely good acting all round helped him do it.

For me The Duellists is the first of 3 consecutive masterpieces (the other two are, of course ALIEN and Blade Runner), unrivalled since John Huston's first 3 films.

10 out of 10 Ulrich Fehlauer


61 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
D'Hubert + Foot Soldier in Russia? wogerdodger
How does this compare to Scott's other work? samuel-84
What was the point of this movie? steatoda
Another view on the Duellists. fistjedi
Why take rivals' name off death llist? rsr26
The Music For Christ Sake.... sid_ssw_a
Discuss The Duellists (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?