The Duellists
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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 off-hours challenging each other to bloody duels. This goes on for nearly 16 years, with neither man showing any inclination of calling a truce. The final clash finds the gentlemanly D'Hubert getting the upper hand of the obsessed Feraud -- but that's not quite the end of the story. The Duellists was the debut feature for director Ridley Scott; it won the… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Mark Chalon Smith, Los Angeles Times
"It is precise, intelligent, civilized, and because it never for a moment mistakes its narrative purpose."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The richness of Scott's visuals, the excellence of the performances and the depth of the themes combine to make a minor masterpiece."
‑ David Hughes, Empire Magazine
"the film improves with multiple screenings, as a viewer becomes less concerned about the outcome of each engagement, and more interested in the passion that is driving it."
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
"the very beauty of the imagery ultimately works to the story's benefit, as it creates an ironic counterpoint to the irrationality of the ongoing feud"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"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."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"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."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"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."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A magnífica fotografia, a bela direção de arte e as ótimas atuações se transformam em meros detalhes frente à impressionante estréia de Ridley Scott na direção de longas."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"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."
‑ , Time Out
"... one of the most strikingly pictorial movies ever made."
‑ Richard T. Jameson, Parallax View
"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."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"The Duellists registers on the senses like a pointillist work of art, encouraging us to revel in its symmetry and relish its high regard for small details."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for The Duellists on Rotten Tomatoes