The Duellists
The Duellists (1977)

The Duellists is based on a story by Joseph Conrad, variously titled The Duel and The Point of Honour. Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel play officers in Napoleon's army -- D'Hubert and Feraud, respectively -- who spend their… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: December 3, 2002
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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Rich, stylized visuals work with effective performances in Ridley Scott's take on Joseph Conrad's Napoleonic story, resulting in an impressive feature film debut for the director.

Mark Chalon Smith
Los Angeles Times

Scott gets strong performances from his supporting cast (Quick is sensual and effective) and is able to salvage the movie through the alchemy of the striking visuals.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

It is precise, intelligent, civilized, and because it never for a moment mistakes its narrative purpose.

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David Hughes
Empire Magazine

The richness of Scott's visuals, the excellence of the performances and the depth of the themes combine to make a minor masterpiece.

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Variety Staff

Keitel is jaunty and menancing and Carradine more determined and a bit troubled but also caught up in this strange need of one to prove honor and the other slaking a twisted nature.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The film comes closer to working than it has any right to, given the curious casting (Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel) and director Ridley Scott's inability to sustain dramatic tension or build a coherent scene.

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

Scott's approach to his material seems essentially a stylistic one; it imposes itself upon the story rather than visa-versa, giving an account of the Napoleonic wars that lacks passion and depth, despite the expert visuals.

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Time Out

Keitel struggles gamely against a wooden Carradine, but the American influences further dislocate a script that delivers little observation, psychological or social, on their running feud.

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Richard T. Jameson
Parallax View

... one of the most strikingly pictorial movies ever made.

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Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

Interiors are bathed in the golden light of candlelight and nostalgia, like a period painting in motion, while exteriors are wrapped in fog and mist.

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More reviews for The Duellists

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Alex roy
Ridley Scott's The Duellists is an impressive period piece and a stunning first full length feature of a director who would carve himself a unique style… More
Stella Dallas
it's wonderfully photographed but the story is a bit lacking and the american actors aren't helping with suspension of disbelief. i love harvey… More
Anthony Lawrie
Quite a simple story of the complexities of mans obsessiveness and the ridiculous and futile notion of honour. Apart from a couple of dodgy accents, this is a… More
Tim Salmons
An absolutely gorgeous film with a nice evocative storyline. The pace of the film, however, seems to be sorely lacking, but I don't think it's the… More
Phil Hubbs
At the beginning I was growing alittle bored with this film, allot of talk and nothing much interesting at that, slowly you get a sense of the two main… More
Mike S
Quite good, especially considering the fact that this movie marked Ridley Scott's debut as a film director. Part from Harvey Keitel, most of the actors… More