6.9/10
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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

The British writing-directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were shown a pre-release screening of the film by producer David O. Selznick. Both were thoroughly unimpressed with the movie, but didn't want to offend Selznick by saying so. At the end of the film, when Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones are crawling towards each other on a mountain and when they get near each other they both open fire, Pressburger turned to Powell and whispered, "What a pity they didn't shoot the screenwriter". 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

Sen. Jackson McCanles: I once fought for that flag; I'll not fire on it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 43rd Annual Academy Awards (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Rye Waltz (Comin' Thru' the Rye)
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Frank Perkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
More Drama Than Western
2 May 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

For those who prefer soap operas instead of horse operas, this western might be for you. If you prefer the normal action-packed western you'll still might enjoy this if you have the patience to go past the first hour. The second half of the this far more interesting.

Jennifer Jones, who became famous playing some wholesome roles in the '40s, was the definition of "sultry" in this movie. She really demonstrates the weakness of the flesh that human beings deal with many times. She wants to be good, but succumbs quickly to temptations almost every time.

Gregory Peck also plays against type, playing an arrogant pig in this movie. It was the first time I had ever seen him play the bad guy, and it looked strange. Lionel Barrymore also shines as the bigoted tyrant-type father. Who was the "good guy?" Joseph Cotten, who almost always gives a good performance as the other actors just named. Add Herbert Marshall, Lillian Gish, Walter Huston and Charles Bickford and you have some cast!

Some of the cinematography is nice, too, reminiscent of film noirs with the shadows and light and a number of night scenes.

Yet, despite all these positive things going for it, it is not a film I would watch many times because it drags in spots and is too long (app. 2 hours, 20 minutes). It also gave a cheap shot to the traveling lay preacher in here, but that's nothing new in films.

All in all, not one of my favorites. I guess I would rather see Jones and Peck play "good guys."


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