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Duel in the Sun

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RedRiver
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Duel in the Sun

Postby RedRiver » December 12th, 2013, 4:30 pm

Well, there's one in every crowd. In this group, I guess it's me. I think this saucy, steamy frontier melodrama deserves more credit. I assume it was well received in its time. But in recent years, classic fans have seemed displeased. It's not one of the super westerns. It doesn't have the depth of THE SEARCHERS, the flair of RED RIVER, the subtle poetry of SHANE. But nothing about this passionate epic bothers me. It's David O. Selznick. It's long and over-wrought. But it's full of fiery emotion and high-pitched drama.

Shakespearean in its attitude, if not in literary quality, this DUEL pits brother against brother, father against son, lovers against each other. And of course, land-seeking "coolies" against greedy barons! The screenplay introduces characters quickly and efficiently. There's little doubt as to who's Cain and who's Abel. There's even a surprise or two, held suspensefully for the final moments. This is a big story. Scenic and colorful, intense and visual. Don't expect anything to be done halfway!

This is not a great movie. But it's one I enjoy. Like some of William Wyler's epics and Henry Hathaway's adventures, this King Vidor passion play is entertaining, if nothing else. I can't say that about a movie and not like it!

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JackFavell
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby JackFavell » December 12th, 2013, 4:56 pm

Red, bravo for admitting you like Duel in the Sun. It's so easy to join the dogpile of critics turning up their noses at it, but really in my heart of hearts, I can't help liking the movie. There's something good natured and robust about it. The weird thing about it is that it changes as you watch - what seems overwrought or laughable at first glance becomes very tender and emotional by the end of the film. I always start the film with a smile on my face but end being touched by that final crawl.

RedRiver
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby RedRiver » December 13th, 2013, 1:52 pm

Admittedly, I manage my expectations. If I expect a four star movie every time, I'll be disappointed more often than not. If I just want to eat popcorn and enjoy the show, this one's not so bad!

kingrat
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby kingrat » December 13th, 2013, 5:49 pm

I'm another one who's at least half in love with Duel in the Sun, despite or because of its excesses. It's like an Italian opera without the music.

The Charles Bickford subplot is quite touching. Perhaps Gregory Peck should have played sexy villains more often? Joseph Cotten gets quite a lot out of (or into) the good brother.

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Robert Regan
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby Robert Regan » December 13th, 2013, 7:22 pm

Kingrat, you hit the nail right on the head! Duel in the Sun is the beginning of what I have long thought os as King Vidor's Operatic Period. The Fountainhead, Beyond the Forest, Lightning Strikes Twice, and Ruby Gentry are as intensely melodramatic as any movie from Italy or Mexico. The color, production values, and Dimitri Tiomkin raise Duel in the Sun to the level of truly Grand Opera! Thinking of it as a Western just doesn't pay off.

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feaito
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby feaito » December 13th, 2013, 8:52 pm

I feel pretty much the same than RedRiver and Wen; I've enjoyed immensely Duel in the Sun each time I have seen it: its OTT, kitsch quality; the melodrama; the bright Technicolor; a sort of guilty pleasure.
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JackFavell
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby JackFavell » December 14th, 2013, 10:01 am

I agree, as long as your expectations don't exceed the movie, it's quite fun. I am appreciating these types of movies more and more as I get older.

stuart.uk
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby stuart.uk » December 18th, 2013, 1:40 pm

I like Duel In The Sun as well and the great Lillian Gish, of the silent era, has a lot to do with it. It was her comeback movie and IMO her's is the performance of the film. I thought her death scene was both laughable and brilliant at the same time. Laughable because why was her wheelchair bound husband Lionel Barrymore sitting on a chair 10 feet away from bed. Brilliant because it allowed the Gish to crawl out of her deathbed and embrace her husband before dying. It might not have had the same impact as fellow silent star Gloria Swanson in Sunset B. but it led to a series of more successful movies like Night Of The Hunter and The Unforgiven,whereas Swanson's later career wasn't as successful. I just wish at the still young age, 51 as she was in DITS that Lillian played romantic leads for about 5yrs, instead of going straight into character roles

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rohanaka
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby rohanaka » March 29th, 2014, 1:38 pm

I just watched (most of) this movie for the first time and may I just say: "Oh... my.. goodness".

I don't know why in the WORLD I never made the effort to see this film before. I missed the beginning this time.. but I caught most of it and can only say.. WOWSA.. what a story.. and I really enjoyed the cast too.. some really good performances, despite the "melodrama" that sometimes took things over. All in all, the story and the cast made up for it.. and I have to say how much I really enjoyed it.

And "mini spoiler" alert.. ha.. may I just add that has to be one of the most pathetic endings for a movie I have ever seen in my LIFE!! (but I DO mean that in a GOOD way, oh my goodness, me!)

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DavidLanceRoten
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby DavidLanceRoten » March 30th, 2014, 8:01 pm

I've had it on DVR for months. Still waiting for the perfect time to watch :lol:

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mongoII
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Re: Duel in the Sun

Postby mongoII » August 8th, 2014, 4:46 pm

Lust in the dust...I love everything about the movie.
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