Duellists, The (1977)

Original Title : Duellists, The
Director : Ridley Scott
Writer : Joseph Conrad
Gerald Vaughan-Hughes
Genre : Action
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Ivor Powell , David Puttnam
Music : Howard Blake
Photography : Frank Tidy
IMDB ID : 0075968
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poster for "Duellists, The" by Ridley Scott (1977)
Duellists, The (1977) - Ridley Scott


Keith Carradine D'Hubert
Harvey Keitel Feraud
Albert Finney Fouche
Edward Fox Colonel
Cristina Raines Adele
Robert Stephens General Treillard
Tom Conti Dr. Jacquin
John McEnery Chevalier
Diana Quick Laura
Alun Armstrong Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne Second
Gay Hamilton Maid
Meg Wynn Owen Leonie
Jenny Runacre Mme. de Lionne
Alan Webb Chevalier
Arthur Dignam The Fencing Master (as Morgan Sheppard
Liz Smith Woman reading tarot cards
Anthony Douse Man shaving Gen. Treillard (as Peter Postlethwaite
Jason Scott Narrator (voice


Set during the grand, sweeping Napoleonic age, an officer in the French army insults another officer and sets off a life-long emnity. The two officers, D'Hubert and Feraud, cross swords time and time again in an attempt to achieve justice and preserve their honor.


great early effort from Ridley Scott Film concerning a long-standing feud between two Napoleonic-era French officers, THE DUELLISTS examines the nature of honor. Carradine is D'Hubert, a young officer who runs afoul of Harvey Keitel's character, for a reason that only Keitel knows. Stalked by Keitel, Carradine finally relents to the challenge, but the duel is thwarted. Over the space of years the two meet periodically, both resuming the duel and each time thwarted by different reasons. It leads to a great ending that frees Carradine's character from Keitel yet absolves Carradine from the imagined slight, even in Keitel's twisted logic. The video copy I viewed was from the early eighties, a time when little care was put into the reissue process, so its hard to tell if the muted colors were part of Scott's design for the film or simply the result of mastering from a faded print. The interiors are smokey and dim, the exteriors usually under overcast skies. Worth a look.