6.9/10
7,135
96 user 40 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
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

Dice, Gregory Peck's horse in the film, made "Life Magazine" because, while the movie was being filmed, Peck rode him into the dining room of the Hotel Santa Rita, then through the hotel lobby, entered an open elevator, decided it was too small, backed out, and climbed the stairs as well. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow on Dice's head when Lewt invited Pearl to go swimming after dinner. See more »

Quotes

The Sinkiller: I don't really know much about Sam Pierce, oh Lord, but from what I hear, he'd be needing no introduction to you. Seeing how Sam was snatched from his loved ones' arms before they even had time to get a good grip on hm, I'm counting on you to give him a better break up yonder.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Martin Scorsese: True Confessions (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Been Working on the Railroad
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Gregory Peck
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Epic Western with great success dealing with a passionate rivalry among two different brothers
20 September 2011 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This lavish film focuses a passionate drama between a half-breed Indian girl named Pearl Chavez and Lewt , son of a powerful baron land . Gorgeous Mestiza Pearl Chavez (Jennifer Jones who had Academy Award nomination) becomes the ward of her dead daddy (Herbert Marshall)'s first love (Lillian Gish) and finds herself torn between her sons, one good guy (Joseph Cotten) and the other bad guy ( untypically cast as baddie , Gregory Peck). Living on a powerful dynastic ranch in Spanish Bit , Texas , and ruled by racist Senator McCanles (Lionel Barrymore) ; she incites the two brothers to conflict . The picture is full of largest-of-life characters as vivacious Perla Chavez built by the devil to drive men crazy ; Lewt McCanles (Gregory Peck) violent as the wind-swept prairie with blood-spilled on his hands ; Jesse (Joseph Cotten) , rebelling against the tyranny of his father ; Senator McCanles (Lionel Barrymore), rich , proud , master of a million of acres ; Raoul Chavez (Herbert Marshall) , ill-fated son of Creole aristocracy ; Laura Belle (Lillian Gish) as martyred mother of a strange brood ; , the pastor (Walter Huston) as the Sinkiller , lusty philosopher of the far-flying prairie .

This stirring drama Western plenty of lyric images deals with victory of civilization and defeat of feudal spirit represented by the proud Senator .Selznick's last lusty effort at outdoing his big hit ¨Gone with the wind¨ , he spend almost 5 million of this epic Western and over-budgeted the classic film of the 30s . Sensational main cast as a beautiful spitfire Jennifer Jones at her best , Gregory Peck as rebellious and violent son and Josep Cotten as fine lawyer ; all of them backed by extraordinary secondary cast as Lionel Barrymore as the magnate owner , Walter Huston as fanatic pastor and Lillian Gish who win Oscar nomination , among others .

Impressive scenes on the raid with lots of riders towards railway and cavalry arrival . The movie had quite a few problems with censorship caused for frank loving relations between Pearl and Lewt ; it aroused great controversy , US religious organizations protested about the lack ethic and morals and the lots of bloodletting , however it ensured success at box-office and awesome critics . Passionate screenplay by the same producer , David O'Selznick suggested by Niven Busch's novel . Filmed nearly Tucson , Arizona and California , including spectacular landscapes photographed by three cameramen , Lee Garmes , Roy Rennahan ,and Hal Rosson . The motion picture is very well realized by King Vidor , though he was missed by David O'Selznick (Jennifer Jones's husband) , being completed by six directors as Otto Brower (2ª unit) ,William Dieterle , Breezy Reeves Eason (second unit), and minor collaboration from Joseph Von Stenberg and William Cameron Menzies . Rating : Better than average . Essential and indispensable seeing .


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