7.5/10
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103 user 65 critic

The Duellists (1977)

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

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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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...
...
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Colonel
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Gen. Treillard
...
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Chevalier
...
...
Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne ...
Second
Gay Hamilton ...
Maid
...
...
Alan Webb ...
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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:

February 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Los duelistas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cristina Raines, who played Adèle, D'Hubert's wife, was Keith Carradine's girlfriend at the time. He suggested her for the part, partly because she would have been on the set with him anyway. See more »

Goofs

At the start all the soldiers wear side plaits in their hair. When Laura writes "Goodbye" on D'Hubert's sword, he walks in with no plaits. He then fights a duel with plaits and visits the general with plaits. In the next scene we hear "military fashions have changed" and everyone is without plaits. 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

Referenced in The 'Alien' Saga (2002) 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 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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