6.9/10
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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

Adjusted for inflation in 2013, the film's US box office gross of $20,408,163 would be $410,714,300. See more »

Goofs

When the Cavalry rides off after intimidating McCanles from attacking the railroad because as the Senator says "I fought to defend that flag (the Stars and Stripes)", the music played is "Bonnie Blue Flag", which was an anthem of the Confederacy. See more »

Quotes

Pearl Chavez: And you'll forget about... about tonight, won't you? You'll forget it?
Jesse McCanles: No, I don't think I'll forget. I don't think I'll ever be able to. I shouldn't have told you the way I felt. It wasn't fair. There I go again, trying to be fair.
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 ), 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 Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Varsoviana
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Frank Perkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Unique Film Work
26 July 2000 | by harry-76See all my reviews

The restored "Road Show" DVD of David O. Selznick's production of "Duel in the Sun" is a most impressive experience. What this restoration has done is to place the viewer back to 1946 at the premiere itself.

Selznick's vision was huge, romantic, and sumptuous. He had the means to spare no expense or effort in realizing this grandiose concept. The result is a sweeping drama set in the west, yet rising above the normal trappings of most movie westerns.

First a trio of photographers headed by the peerless Lee Garmes, and assisted by Ray Rennahan and Hal Rosson, provided a rich and colorful canvas of romantic artistry and beauty. Then a screenplay by producer Selznick emphasized the Gothic and overripe emotions with great relish. If you're going to do it, do it, was the attitude. Let the trash explode on the screen. Added to this formidable group of artists came director King Vidor, beautifully directing a carefully chosen and extremely talented cast, and creating some magnificent and memorable set pieces.

Lastly came the legendary composer, Dimitri Tiomkin, crafting a superb score, exuding the pent up and released emotions of the characters and painting the hot and sultry essence of the desert setting. The way to fully experience the Selznick vision is to take the time to position one's self before the DVD monitor, adjust the sound volume to near peak level, and absorb the score from the first note of the 15-minute Prelude, the 5-minute Overture, through the 144-minute drama, and continue until the final, crashing chord of the 5-minute Postlude (Exit Music). Only then will the true meaning and power of "Duel in the Sun" be realized.

It's a one-of-a-kind film work, and a lasting tribute to that mad, disorganized, titanic and great genius of film production, Selznick.


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