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The Duellists (1977)

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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")
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to the director's commentary, this film attempted to mimic the luscious photography of Barry Lyndon (1975), which itself had attempted to emulate the paintings of that film's historical period. Intentional or not, but Gay Hamilton appeared in both films. See more »

Goofs

When d'Hubert and the doctor discuss the ways of avoiding duels with Feraud, the doctor brings two bottles of wine. He hands d'Hubert a corkscrew, but d'Hubert leans back in his chair and starts stuffing his pipe. Yet literally two seconds later the doctor also sits down and picks up a glass from the table, where an opened bottle is standing. d'Hubert has also suddenly got a full glass. 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.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: STRASBOURG 1800 See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Beast Within: The Making of 'Alien' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
One of the few great, timeless movies.
6 May 2000 | by matijaSee all my reviews

Often, when you watch a movie, you can tell when it was made.

It deals with the mores and prejudices of the time it was made. The costumes are done without attention to detail or the hair-styles of the leading actors don't belong to the time when the movie is supposed to be taking place.

Not this movie.

It deals with timeless themes: courage, fate, inevitability,

honor. The costumes are impeccable, and even the hair-styles change as time progresses, exactly as the fashions changed during the times of the Napoleon. Without knowing the actors (though the cast is composed of excellent, justifiably famous artists), there is no way to tell it was made in 1977. It might have been made yesterday, or it might have been filmed on the spot.

If you enjoy a movie where attention was paid to every detail to make it a true piece of art, if you enjoy dramatic photography thoughtful themes, and just the barest suggestion of dry humor, this is the movie for you.


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