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The Duellists (1977)

PG | | Drama, War | February 1978 (UK)
2:11 | Clip

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A small feud between two Napoleonic officers evolves into a decades-long series of duels.



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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gen. Treillard
Maurice Colbourne ...
Gay Hamilton ...
Alan Webb ...


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


Fencing is a science. Loving is a passion. Duelling is an obsession.


Drama | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

February 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Los duelistas  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$900,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to the film's limited budget, and his will to appear in the film, Albert Finney's salary for this movie was a case of champagne. He worked with Ridley Scott in A Good Year (2006). See more »


During their second duel (in a cellar) one of their sabers scrapes against the stone wall and makes sparks. In the DVD commentary the director explains that this was done by taping an electrified wire mesh to the wall. The mesh is visible if you look closely. See more »


[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 »


Spoofed in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) See more »


Bist du bei mir
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

definitely worth watching
14 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

Seems this film has left most viewers with only positive comments to make (quite rare actually). I agree with most of them.

This is a very believable film and is beautiful to watch in parts thanks to Scott's eye for design and natural beauty, esepecially regarding the use of light.

I was mesmerised to know how it was all going to end. I was so sure it was going to end tragically but then was surprised and elevated by the ending that showed the richness & depth of the human experience. I believe there's some meaning for us all in this movie. And I got to hear about this movie by accident!

An amazing quality of a film overall when you read about it's history, which was almost not made!


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