6.8/10
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99 user 44 critic

Duel in the Sun (1946)

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors:

King Vidor, Otto Brower (uncredited) | 5 more credits »

Writers:

David O. Selznick (screenplay), Niven Busch (suggested by a novel by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jones ... Pearl Chavez
Joseph Cotten ... Jesse McCanles
Gregory Peck ... Lewton 'Lewt' McCanles
Lionel Barrymore ... Sen. Jackson McCanles
Herbert Marshall ... Scott Chavez
Lillian Gish ... Laura Belle McCanles
Walter Huston ... The Sinkiller
Charles Bickford ... Sam Pierce
Harry Carey ... Lem Smoot
Joan Tetzel ... Helen Langford
Tilly Losch ... Mrs. Chavez
Butterfly McQueen ... Vashti
Scott McKay ... Sid
Otto Kruger ... Mr. Langford
Sidney Blackmer ... The Lover
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Storyline

When her father is hanged for shooting his wife and her lover, half-breed Pearl Chavez goes to live with distant relatives in Texas. Welcomed by Laura Belle and her elder lawyer son Jesse, she meets with hostility from the ranch-owner himself, wheelchair-bound Senator Jackson McCanles, and with lustful interest from womanising, unruly younger son Lewt. Almost at once, already existing family tensions are exacerbated by her presence and the way she is physically drawn to Lewt. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Emotions . . . As Violent As The Wind-Swept Prairie ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1947 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

King Vidor's Duel in the Sun See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,408,163

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,428,771
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(roadshow)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer (and uncredited director) David O. Selznick battled amphetamine addiction throughout production. His drug abuse exacerbated much of his erratic behavior during filming, including his constant demand for reshoots. See more »

Goofs

When Jesse is sitting in his hotel room, a rock flies through the window, breaking the glass. As Jesse opens the window, a piece of glass falls down and sticks into the lower edge of the window frame. This piece of glass disappears between shots as Jesse talks to the cowboy Sid outside. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: And this is what the legend says - a flower, known nowhere else, grows from out of the desperate crags where Pearl vanished. Pearl - who was herself a wild flower sprung from the hard clay, quick to blossom and early to die.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original "roadshow" version ran 144 minutes. The additional 16 minutes, over the commonly-shown 128 minute version, consisted of a musical "prelude," an "overture" (which contained a spoken prologue, by Reed Hadley), and exit music, but no additional scenes in the film. The two additional opening sequences were each inadvertently given the other's label. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Heel and Toe Polka
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Frank Perkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Hollywood epic filmed in the Southwest
27 April 2003 | by allanm051See all my reviews

This movie is like a painting by an old master that hangs in a museum--we may not be moved by it, but we can still appreciate the artistry. Its most notable feature is the director, King Vidor, master of silent film making. As you might expect, many of the important scenes have little or no dialog. In one scene between Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish, he rambles on about their life together, while she strains to get out of her sickbed and crosses slowly to him, the entire distance transfigured by the depth of her love for him. Gish was a great star of silent film, with a wonderful, expressive face, full of compassion and grace. In another scene that happens under quite different circumstances, Jennifer Jones crawls to Gregory Peck, the man she loves, also without words, evincing great sorrow and quiet dignity. In both cases, the women prove they are far more noble than the men who love them so badly. Jones also has a mobile face, together with a beautiful, resonant voice. No film that has these two ladies at its center should be missed. In addition, the film has two marvelous scenes that, at the time of its making, would have been just as impressive as some of today's special effects wonders: In the first, about 20 armed horsemen face a crowd of railway workers, including some chinese, clothed in authentic period dress, with a steam engine in the background. As the tensions mount, a troop of mounted cavalry, about 100 strong, ride onto the set, filmed on location (judging by the saguarros and ocatillos) in Arizona. This was a tour de force of filmmaking at a time when shooting on location was rare. In the second scene, a train under a full head of steam jumps the tracks and plows down an embankment. Filmed in early technicolor, this movie has lush exteriors and panoramas of rich desert color. Two more character actors should be mentioned, both of whom steal every scene they enter: Butterfly McQueen, the maid whose comments are both simple and profound, and Walter Huston, as the crusty sheriff who doubles as a preacher during a funeral.


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