A duel between two feuding Napoleonic officers eventually evolves into a decades-long series of duels, after each bout - for various reasons - ends unresolved.

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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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Dr. Jacquin
...
Chevalier
...
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Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne ...
Second
Gay Hamilton ...
Maid
Meg Wynn Owen ...
...
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:

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Release Date:

December 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Duellists  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
 »

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

D'Hubert wears the uniform of the 3rd Hussars regiment whilst Feraud wears that of the 7th. There were as many as twelve regiments of Hussars in the Naploeonic army at its height. Their role as light cavalry was mainly scouting and skirmishing. They regarded themselves as the elite of the cavalry, although many saw them as reckless wild cards. Their colourful uniforms and glamorous, devil-may-care attitude was attractive to the ladies and consequently they also had reputations for licentious behaviour that often preceded them. They were renowned for their fighting spirit and fiercely guarded code of honour. The film captures all of these elements to various degrees. See more »

Goofs

When d'Hubert and the doctor discuss the ways of avoiding duels with Feraud, the doctor brings two bottles of wine. He hands d'Hubert a corkscrew, but d'Hubert leans back in his chair and starts stuffing his pipe. Yet literally two seconds later the doctor also sits down and picks up a glass from the table, where an opened bottle is standing. d'Hubert has also suddenly got a full glass. 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

References Lancelot of the Lake (1974) 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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