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.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Gerald Vaughan-Hughes (screenplay), Joseph Conrad (story "The Duel")
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 ... Armand d'Hubert
Harvey Keitel ... Gabriel Feraud
Albert Finney ... Fouché
Edward Fox ... Colonel
Cristina Raines ... Adèle
Robert Stephens ... Gen. Treillard
Tom Conti ... Dr. Jacquin
John McEnery ... Amiable Second
Diana Quick ... Laura
Alun Armstrong ... Lacourbe
Maurice Colbourne ... Tall Second
Gay Hamilton Gay Hamilton ... Maid
Meg Wynn Owen ... Léonie
Jenny Runacre ... Mme. de Lionne
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the director's commentary, Albert Finney's payment for playing Fouché, the Duke of Otrante, was a case of champagne. His girlfriend at the time, Diana Quick, was in the movie, and suggested him for the role. See more »

Goofs

During their second duel (in a cellar) one of their sabers scrapes against the stone wall and makes sparks. In the DVD commentary the director explains that this was done by taping an electrified wire mesh to the wall. The mesh is visible if you look closely. 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 »


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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User Reviews

definitely worth watching
14 May 2002 | by b4peaceSee all my reviews

Seems this film has left most viewers with only positive comments to make (quite rare actually). I agree with most of them.

This is a very believable film and is beautiful to watch in parts thanks to Scott's eye for design and natural beauty, esepecially regarding the use of light.

I was mesmerised to know how it was all going to end. I was so sure it was going to end tragically but then was surprised and elevated by the ending that showed the richness & depth of the human experience. I believe there's some meaning for us all in this movie. And I got to hear about this movie by accident!

An amazing quality of a film overall when you read about it's history, which was almost not made!

8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

February 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Duellists See more »

Filming Locations:

Aquitaine, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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