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Duel in the Sun (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Release Date: 25-MAY-2004
Media Type: DVD
Legendary producer David O. Selznick dreamed of another magnum opus like his 1939 production of Gone with the Wind; he also purposed to make Jennifer Jones, his ladylove and eventually second Mrs. Selznick, a megastar. Accordingly, he micromanaged the making of Duel in the Sun (Lust in the Dust to some), an extravagant Technicolor epic about the collision of the old West with the new, wide-open spaces with railroads and barbed wire, and hot-blooded outlaws with civilized folk, often wimpy or unwell. Beginning among giant rocks drenched in a blood-red sunset, with velvet-voiced Orson Welles intoning the leibestod legend of doomed Pearl Chavez and her demon lover, Duel never strays far from lush romanticism, spiced with a dash of S/M. Orphaned Pearl (Jones) comes to live at Spanish Bit Ranch, where frail Laura Belle McCanles (Lillian Gish) tries to make a lady of her, despite her questionable origins and insistent voluptuousness. Sexual license versus law--Pearl's choices--are symbolized by the McCanles brothers: dark, undisciplined Lewt (a lubriciously wicked Gregory Peck) and reasonable, forward-looking, repressed Jesse (Joseph Cotten). The cast is huge (Lionel Barrymore, Walter Huston, Harry Carey, Herbert Marshall, Charles Bickford, Butterfly McQueen) and there are unforgettable set pieces: summoned by a cacophony of bells, the gathering of McCanles cowboys from the four corners of the earth; Pearl in heat, clutching Lewt's leg and being dragged across the floor as he makes his getaway to Mexico; and the lovers' final shootout among those red rocks, as orgiastic a finale as you could ask for. --Kathleen Murphy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The storyline is simple. A Spanish Grandee, Scott Chavez (Herbert Marshall), married the wrong woman, a wild and passionate Indian, instead of his true love, Laura Belle. Together they have a child whom they named Pearl. Known as a half breed, Pearl Chavez (Jennifer Jones), wants to be a lady, a "good girl". Given who her mother was, however, no one wants to give her a chance to prove herself. When her father knows he is to die, he packs her off to his first love, Laura Belle (Lillian Gish), who lives in Texas and is married to Senator McCanles (Lionel Barrymore). They have two sons, Jesse (Joseph Cotten) and Lewt (Gregory Peck). Jesse is the good son and his mother's favorite, while Lewt is a spoiled rake and his father's favorite.
When Pearl arrives at the McCanles ranch, Lillian greets her warmly, as does Jesse. Senator McCanles, her overbearing husband, however, treats Pearl to some racist, politically incorrect invective, while Lewt eyes her lasciviously. Needless to say, a love triangle of sorts develops. Ultimately, both sons want her, but they both can't have her. Jesse treats Pearl like a lady, while Lewt treats her like a wanton.Read more ›
That this film is overdone in almost every respect shouldn't for one minute discourage the purchase of DUEL. Its tremendous cast--including a surprisingly atypical performance by the great Walter Huston as the "sin killer" preacher--is well worth seeing. While the film is overlong, the costly restoration work that has gone into this edition makes it a visual treat that, for the first time, accurately reveals the high standard of craftsmanship insisted on by its producer David O. Selznick. The colors are so sharp and true that they seem to jump out from the screen. If you are a fan of this film--as something of a "guilty pleasure"--you'll throw away the previous video release of this film with gusto. There is absolutely no comparison whatsoever. The 5-star rating is primarily for how gorgeous it looks than for the story itself. This is what great Technicolor could do during Hollywood's Golden Age. The trailers, also included in this edition, make this a great package.
The 2001 Roadshow Edition (which can be identified by those words at the top of the cover) contains the original Prelude, Overture, and Exit Music, which combine to stretch the length of the picture to 144 minutes.
There are no special features other than Trailers and "Tags" -- the latter being very brief partial ads lasting less than 20 seconds. There is a 4-page insert with still photos and a scene menu.
There is a good scene menu of 27 stops, which divides the movie conveniently into roughly 5-minute segments.
The picture and sound are very good. My only complaint on this front is that often the lips of the characters are slightly out of synchronization with the soundtrack. The difference is very slight, and if you aren't looking for it, you may not notice it. Indeed, I hesitated to mention it, lest it spoil the enjoyment of someone who wouldn't otherwise have noticed it. And there may be no edition in existence where the synchronization is perfect. However, I think buyers of a DVD deserve full information of this kind.
For some reason, critics describe this film as strange, odd, quirky, etc. I don't find it so at all. It's a dramatic Western with a passionate romance and a touch of epic feel to it. The epic feel is not surprising, at it comes from Selznick, who was responsible for Gone with the Wind. The final resolution of the love conflict in the story is, to be sure, "extreme," but it's not quirky; it follows from the character development throughout.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Sweeping! Magnificent! Corny! Romantic! A west that never existed is splashed across the screen as only David O. Read morePublished on July 8 2004 by Michael C. Smith
The dvd image is great, the soundtrack transfer is horrible: drops in volume and the dialogue is often distorted.Published on June 10 2004 by Peter Stanfield
Producer David O. Selznick never thought small. Dreaming of a magnum opus on the same grand scale as "Gone with the Wind" and, perhaps a little bit self-conscious of the fact that... Read morePublished on May 25 2004 by Nix Pix
It is WONDERFUL!!! What more could one ask for from the Golden Age of Hollywood: Producer David O. Read morePublished on May 24 2004 by S. Dees
No! This is one of the worst MOVIES ever made! Of course, political correctness did not exist in 1946, but some responsible person should have been considerate to the feelings of... Read morePublished on June 15 2002 by Reginald D. Garrard
"Duel in the Sun" was David Selznick's attempt to outdo "Gone With the Wind". Sure, it has lavish and sweeping production, glorious cinematography. Read morePublished on May 20 2002 by Ken Lau
Duel in the Sun is an epic production. It is beautifully filmed -- with great music, expert stunt work, well-trained horses and a superb cast of superstars. ... end of story. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2002 by Charles Laquidara
Ranchomolina's review dated 11th July 1999 is naive.How can social values of the 21st century be retrospectively applied to a film made in 1946 with all the attendant censorship,... Read morePublished on July 11 2001
Duel in the Sun is an epic in both it's themes and production. Although it doesn't hold up nearly as well as other films from the 1940s, it has many things which will please film... Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2000 by Stephen Reginald
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