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The Duellists

By Marshall Fine

First film by director Ridley Scott barely got released in this country in the mid-Super70s, but stands up, despite the rather noticeable accents of its stars. That's because Brooklynite Harvey Keitel and Westerner Keith Carradine are playing a pair of officers in Napoleon's army--oops! The plot centers on Carradine insulting Keitel and Keitel demanding vengeance. But every time they get into the middle of one of their duels, war breaks out or something else happens to interrupt. Keitel, however, is too pig-headed to let it drop and dogs Carradine over the course of 20 years. Strong performances otherwise and amazing cinematography, as well as a cast that includes Albert Finney, Edward Fox, and Tom Conti.

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"Let's talk cinematography. This film of the finest in history, an excellent directorial debut by Ridley Scott and a clear signpost pointing toward the body of work that would follow in his career."


"A stunning film remarkable for it's use of light (try and find a scene shot in full daylight), period and intensity. It provides a galaxy of noteable actors and talent orbiting around a boiled down concentration of storytelling (the incomporable Joseph Conrad) to tell a fascinating tale of alienation, failure and the ultimate victory of, surprisingly, the christian values of humility, decency and moderation. But Conrad is no Victorian moralist and this story is as much an assault on the senses - with fabulously graphic set piece duels - as it is a treatise on the nature of honour and achievement."


"This is an absolutely beautiful, but esoteric movie. Few people know it exists! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves exquisite cinematography, almost continuous action sequences, gorgeous costumes and historical detail. It is one of the most romantic movies I have ever seen and one of my favorite movies of all time!"




Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Edward Fox, Cristina Raines, Robert Stephens, Tom Conti, Diana Quick, Albert Finney

Released: January 27, 1978

Availability: DVD VHS

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