Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney, Edward Fox, Cristina Raines, Robert Stephens, Tom Conti, John McEnery, Diana Quick, Alun Armstrong, Maurice Colbourne, Gay Hamilton, Meg Wynn Owen, Jenny Runacre, Alan Webb
Written by: Gerald Vaughan-Hughes, based on a story by Joseph Conrad
Directed by: Ridley Scott
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 100
Date: 08/31/1977
IMDB

The Duellists (1977)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Duel Fools

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on a Joseph Conrad story, Ridley Scott's feature debut The Duellists (1977) takes place during the Napoleonic war era -- over three decades during which Feraud (Harvey Keitel) and D'Hubert (Keith Carradine) meet and duel every few years. The origin of the duel is less than silly, and neither man can really remember why they're dueling in the first place. As a director, Scott comes alive during the duel scenes, emphasizing the landscapes -- ranging from wet green to white snowbound. He also keeps the movie feeling small and intimate, despite its grand scope and long timeline.

Interestingly, the DVD comes with one of Scott's early short films, Boy on a Bicycle (1965), starring his brother Tony, who would also go on to be a director. The short is rather pretentious and contains little that indicated the director's career to come.

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