The Duellists

USA 1977
Director : Ridley Scott
Cast : Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney, Ridley Scott, Joseph Conrad

100 Min. | OmU/OmeU | Original with german and english subtitles


When D’Hubert (Keith Carradine) and Feraud (Harvey Keitel), two officers in Napoleons army, meet in 1801’s Strasbourg, it is because the former has been ordered to admonish the latter for his penchant for dueling, which nearly cost the mayor’s nephew his life. The more plebeian Feraud is incensed and immediately challenges the well-bred D’Hubert to a duel. Which a true gentleman like D’Hubert is honor-bound to agree to. And which, as neither of them dies and Feraud’s anger only builds will lead to a series of duels over many decades, tying both men irrevocably to the other. The story of Ridley Scott’s cinematic debut »The Duellists« would be highly ironic if it was not so sad, with one man’s future determined by another man’s anger at the world in general. Gorgeously shot by director of photography Frank Tidy and expertly directed, it is a study in contrasts that extends to its ensemble. Carradine and Keitel are brilliantly casted as opponents in this best British directorial debut ever. A marvelous jewel of a film, enthralling and yet full of melancholy.