7.4/10
17,805
109 user 69 critic

The Duellists (1977)

PG | | Drama, War | February 1978 (UK)
Clip
2:12 | Clip

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A small feud between two Napoleonic officers evolves into a decades-long series of duels.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Gerald Vaughan-Hughes (screenplay), Joseph Conrad (story "The Duel")
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A married New York cop falls for the socialite murder witness he's been assigned to protect.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tom Berenger, Mimi Rogers, Lorraine Bracco
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas and the effect this has on the indigenous people.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Sigourney Weaver
Black Rain (1989)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
White Squall (1996)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, John Savage
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A teenage boy plays truant from school, and spends the day riding around the town and the deserted beach on his bicycle, letting his mind wander as he imagines he is the only person in the world.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tony Scott
Short | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

At an exotic estate with a splendid garden, a topless woman, subtly wearing Chanel No. 5, is sunbathing by an outdoor swimming pool. From the opposite side, an athletic man dives and swims towards her. Or is he just a fantasy?

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: John Huston
Legend (1985)
Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel
G.I. Jane (1997)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A female Senator succeeds in enrolling a woman into Combined Reconnaissance Team training where everyone expects her to fail.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Demi Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Anne Bancroft
Apple Mac: 1984 (Video 1984)
Short | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Apple and Ridley Scott presented the most awaited event of 1984: the introduction of Apple Macintosh personal computer to the world. With a concept directly influenced by George Orwell's ... See full summary »

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: David Graham, Anya Major
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Through the plights of seven different children, seven cruel destinies unfold, as the unknown innocents who share the same sensitivities and desires struggle for survival, understanding--and above all--love, in an apathetic grown-up world.

Directors: Mehdi Charef, Emir Kusturica, and 6 more credits »
Stars: Adama Bila, Elysée Rouamba, Rodrigue Ouattara
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Carradine ... Armand d'Hubert
Harvey Keitel ... Gabriel Feraud
Albert Finney ... Fouché
Edward Fox ... Colonel
Cristina Raines ... Adèle
Robert Stephens ... Gen. Treillard
Tom Conti ... Dr. Jacquin
John McEnery ... Amiable Second
Diana Quick ... Laura
Alun Armstrong ... Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne Maurice Colbourne ... Tall Second
Gay Hamilton Gay Hamilton ... Maid
Meg Wynn Owen ... Léonie
Jenny Runacre ... Mme. de Lionne
Alan Webb Alan Webb ... Chevalier
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

February 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Los duelistas See more »

Filming Locations:

Aquitaine, France See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The cinematic directorial debut of Ridley Scott. See more »

Goofs

When Carradine is meeting with Finney, who sits down in a chair in front of a mirror, the very top of the camera is visible in the bottom of the mirror, as he sits down in his chair. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: STRASBOURG 1800 See more »

Connections

Featured in Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Bist du bei mir
(uncredited)
Music by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
(from "Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach" No. 25. BWV 508)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The slippery pair of boots
30 August 2012 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

I come to this after a week of heavily mulling over Nolan's Batman world and the failure of logical tools to explain beyond themselves. And here is a film about a deeply-seated illogical drive, and by one who inspired Nolan, by his own admission, and you can perhaps see that in the series of escalating encounters with a madness that trumps reason.

And the immersive world. Scott usually aims for this, and this is from a time he did it well. He takes from Kubrick the idea of natural light that, once the camera locks in, will look and move (and slightly breathe) like a Rennaisance painting. The era is Napoleon's, and at least the wintry march back from Russian defeat provides opportunity for some astonishing images.

Some words exhaust their meaning, when thrown without care; so it's not enough to call this existentialist. The story is that an army officer bears an inexplicable grudge that spans 20 years and half of Europe.

Everything you need to know is in the last scene, expertly executed. The idea is that something deeply not-logical gnaws and eats at man's soul and sniffs for blood. And that men, this is strictly male, have lived with this aspect of self for so long, we have developed separate not-logical tools that allow us to not only instinctively respond to the call, however reluctantly, and in spite of recognition of how insane it is, but to silently respect and defend it as its own kind of logic (in our case, the concept of honor).

In the last scene, we have two men seeking each the other to eliminate him from existence, as simple as that. It's the oldest game men have played, and the same thrill resurfaces across poker tables and football. It's got to have something of death in it, if it is to matter at all.

And I have a book called Bushido: The Soul of Japan here with me, retrieved from a shelf because the film sparked an interest, that explains how the blade is the samurai's extension of soul and imbued with the same discipline.

The two rivals have fenced for the entire film, but settle on pistols for the deciding duel, and wander about in a forest, two shots each, meaning they will be able to instantly discharge what is in their soul.

Each man in the shot he takes reveals who they are, one of them rash and impertinent, and fires first, they other level-headed and reserved. The subtle context of the scene is that politics do decide war from afar, in our case the slippery (faulty) pair of boots of the aristocratic boot-maker.

Which is, in a third level, a beautiful way of putting the subtle discord strummed by the universe that creates a slippery world and illogical selves of us, dumb chance as fate.

And suffice to say, the film is British, so you will not learn it here, but in spite of the probably British-started legend, the French are historically the best tactical warriors in Europe. There is a reason why nearly every word in the modern lexicon of war is originally French, and that includes honour.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 109 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed