The Duellists (1977)

PG   |    |  Drama, War


The Duellists (1977) Poster

France, 1801. Due to a minor, perceived slight mild-mannered Lieutenant d'Hubert is forced into a duel with the hot-headed, irrational Lieutenant Feraud. The disagreement ultimately results in scores of duels, spanning several years.


7.4/10
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  • Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine in The Duellists (1977)
  • Ridley Scott and David Puttnam in The Duellists (1977)
  • Alun Armstrong in The Duellists (1977)
  • Keith Carradine and Alun Armstrong in The Duellists (1977)
  • Diana Quick in The Duellists (1977)
  • Harvey Keitel in The Duellists (1977)

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9 December 2002 | cineaste-4
DVD Release
I've nothing distinctive to add to the comments below regarding the film itself. Last night, I watched THE DUELLISTS for the first time in its new DVD presentation. Immediately thereafter, I turned on Mr. Scott's commentary track and that's what I'd like to mention here.

Eight years ago, I began collecting laserdiscs which were the first format to include directors' commentaries. I was mesmerized by this feature. Once the DVD format caught hold, it seemed as if these bonus audio tracks came attached to almost every film and suddenly everyone including the costume designer was yakking away.

The best commentary tracks I've heard are provided by the director speaking to his audience, not to his DP or to his producer, and they are scene-specific. Rodriguez' amazing "how to make a low-budget film" commentary on "El Mariachi", for instance, or Scorsese's fast-paced insights that he recorded for "Raging Bull". Now I can add to this short list Ridley Scott's commentary on "Duellists". It's the opposite of coy. It's chock-full of lessons for young directors. It's lightly humorous. It's fascinating.

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