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 Cannes Film Festival prize for Best First Film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Some films make a lifelong impression. This was one of those films for me. Ridley Scott's first feature film, it's beautifully photographed (I cannot vouch for the quality of the video transfer in this DVD release - renter beware...), the swordfighting scenes are very authentic, with an engaging storyline and a crafty denoument.
Recommended. A must-see for Ridley Scott fans.
I saw this one in the theatre and have been hooked on Ridley Scott films ever since. Duellists has an interesting story of two soldiers committed by honor to an on-going, over a decade long feud, meeting for brutal, to the death duels. What looks like real swordfighting, w/o the flashy superhuman/kung fu choreography. These guys are getting thrashed. Yet neither are able to finish off the other bcz they are so well matched. All with the backdrop of the Napoleanic War era. Carradine and Keitel are both well cast, great sets, excellent cinematography, and an unusual ending.