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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:
...
...
...
...
Colonel
...
...
Gen. Treillard
...
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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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

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

 
One of the few great, timeless movies.
6 May 2000 | by (Ljubljana, Slovenia) – See all my reviews

Often, when you watch a movie, you can tell when it was made.

It deals with the mores and prejudices of the time it was made. The costumes are done without attention to detail or the hair-styles of the leading actors don't belong to the time when the movie is supposed to be taking place.

Not this movie.

It deals with timeless themes: courage, fate, inevitability,

honor. The costumes are impeccable, and even the hair-styles change as time progresses, exactly as the fashions changed during the times of the Napoleon. Without knowing the actors (though the cast is composed of excellent, justifiably famous artists), there is no way to tell it was made in 1977. It might have been made yesterday, or it might have been filmed on the spot.

If you enjoy a movie where attention was paid to every detail to make it a true piece of art, if you enjoy dramatic photography thoughtful themes, and just the barest suggestion of dry humor, this is the movie for you.


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