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Author Topic: Duel in the Sun (1946)  (Read 11250 times)
The Firecracker
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2009, 02:14:29 PM »

very worth watching just for the technicolor/cinematography, the orange, studio-lit skies and the sets (especially the cantina in the movie's opening moments).


Which is why I like it.

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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2009, 02:51:32 PM »

That's cerainly understandable, it's a beautiful looking movie.

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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2010, 01:00:00 PM »

Noodles you are a lucky bastard.

Duel in the Sun - 4/10 - Jesus Christ. As one might expect from Selznick and King Vidor, this is certainly a lavish production: gorgeous location shooting in Technicolor, with some studio-lighted dusk scenes that are out of this world, great art direction, nice if bombastic score by Mr. Tiomkin - production-wise, everything is top-notch. And there are a handful of scenes that are good-to-great, like the opening and the cavalry's showdown with Barrymore and Company. But for God's sakes, everything else that matters sucks. You have a disjointed, feverishly melodramatic story that makes not a wit of sense, an unlikeable heroine who completely shifts personality from one scene to the next, an awful script, cartoonish characters and no pretense to subtlety or narrative cohesion. Most of it is just boring and aggressively mediocre until the finale, which for my money is one of the most ludicrous scenes in big-budget movie history, close behind the fight scene in Rasputin and the Empress. There's some possible influence on later directors - the dynastic squabbles a la Anthony Mann, some elements which may have inspired OUATITW - but these aren't alone worth much. Jennifer Jones is awful; Gregory Peck is badly miscast; Joseph Cotten is at his most colorless; Lionel Barrymore and Walter Huston chew scenery with reckless abandon. The more I think about it, the more a 4 may be excessively generous.

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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2011, 02:23:05 PM »

Duel in the Sun - 4/10 - Jesus Christ. As one might expect from Selznick and King Vidor, this is certainly a lavish production: gorgeous location shooting in Technicolor, with some studio-lighted dusk scenes that are out of this world, great art direction, nice if bombastic score by Mr. Tiomkin - production-wise, everything is top-notch. And there are a handful of scenes that are good-to-great, like the opening and the cavalry's showdown with Barrymore and Company. But for God's sakes, everything else that matters sucks. You have a disjointed, feverishly melodramatic story that makes not a wit of sense, an unlikeable heroine who completely shifts personality from one scene to the next, an awful script, cartoonish characters and no pretense to subtlety or narrative cohesion. Most of it is just boring and aggressively mediocre until the finale, which for my money is one of the most ludicrous scenes in big-budget movie history, close behind the fight scene in Rasputin and the Empress. There's some possible influence on later directors - the dynastic squabbles a la Anthony Mann, some elements which may have inspired OUATITW - but these aren't alone worth much. Jennifer Jones is awful; Gregory Peck is badly miscast; Joseph Cotten is at his most colorless; Lionel Barrymore and Walter Huston chew scenery with reckless abandon. The more I think about it, the more a 4 may be excessively generous.

Yeah, this is right.

And I thought Brando's One-Eyed Jacks was an over-indulgent borefest... Roll Eyes


3.5/10

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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2011, 02:25:36 PM »

Never seen it, but it's featured in Michael Sauter's The Worst Movies of All Time, so . . .

I think it's also featured in A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, in a good context.

Don't take my word for it, though.

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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2011, 02:29:50 PM »

This is what the Dynasty looks and feels like in a W setting, lol.

You have to wait more than an hour and a half for the first gunshot... Sad

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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2011, 05:02:09 PM »

Hehe Cheesy Saw it twice... only worth for young, sexy Peck and the final duel. But the girl is annoying like hell, and if I want sibling rivalry melodrama with ridiculous plot I'll go for Il Trovatore... at least it has the MUSIC.  Wink

(A western staging of Trovatore? It could rock.)

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« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2011, 05:50:07 AM »

Pretty low ratings for this important western.

I give it a 8 for its over- the-top melodramatic style. It definitely has a von Sternberg touch.

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« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2012, 02:07:59 PM »

I just saw Duel in the Sun for the first time, after first hearing about it when watching this video of Scorcese's favorite movies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TJKf70Tpfc

What can I say? I kept thinking of the 1994 movie Legends of the Fall, which IMO did a great a job with a pretty similar concept. I am not much for the romantic melodramas (though LOTF is one my all-time favorite movies). It certainly seems as if the plot for LOTF was influenced by DITS.

With DITS, the back n' forth got pretty tiresome. I don't mind when someone is torn with conflicting emotions, but it has to be developed and presented in a way that justifies her feelings. I need a reason to believe it, each time she goes off with one or the other, rather than just accepting it cuz the script says that it is happening. There is often little to justify the girl's decisions at one moment or the other.

So, I agree with those of you that don't like the plot, but appreciate the quality of other aspects of the production. Some of the larger-scale scenes set pieces are done really well, such as the opening scene, the standoff between the cowboys and the railroad men, the barbecue at the ranch, etc. In other words, everything not involving the main storyline of the girl's romantic life. And Tiomkin's score, particularly during those big scenes, is really good.


Jones's makeup is awful; she looks like a clown. Giving a a white girl a mudbath doesn't make her a half-breed. Why do Westerns so often do that with American actors who are supposed to be Indians/Mexicans/half-breeds? Can't they use an actress who actually has darker skin? Especially when Jones stands next to other white people in the movie, it looks so bad, it's comical. It's like they are all at the party and she is the clown, just missing the big red nose.
Jones was good, but I don't think she was worthy of that Oscar nomination.

Definitely an unusual role for Peck, as the wild son. (Sometimes I felt that it is hard to fully get into it, knowing that it is Gregory Peck as the wild son!) But Peck -- one of my all-time favorite actors -- did a good job with the role.

None of the other performances are worthy of mention. Jospeh Cotten particularly is terrible. In addition to Jones's Oscar nomination as Best Actress, the film's other Oscar nomination was for Lillian Gish as Best Supporting Actress, and I don't think her performance was all that great.

This movie is about the most sexual thing I can imagine for 1946, and I can certainly see the controversy; frankly, I am surprised it was approved for public showing.

The scenes with the black maid were funny; those with the "sin killer" made you wanna tear your eyes out.

5.5/10

« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:34:49 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2012, 06:48:59 AM »

The Outlaw (shot in the early 40s) was more vulgar and a more "sexual thing", but DitS was surely a daring film for the 40s. Well, that's for a Hollywood film.

I re-watched DitS a few days ago. Not as good as I remembered it. Too much time is spent with the melodramatic parts, too less it is a western. Too much O. Selznick, and too less King Vidor. The colour photography is, well, very colourful, extremely colourful. All in all the then spectacular scenes have lost a lot of their impact.
The cast is good, if not great, but Jones unsubtle acting in the lead is too mannered. 6,5/10

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« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2012, 06:14:49 AM »

Jones's makeup is awful; she looks like a clown. Giving a a white girl a mudbath doesn't make her a half-breed. Why do Westerns so often do that with American actors who are supposed to be Indians/Mexicans/half-breeds? Can't they use an actress who actually has darker skin? Especially when Jones stands next to other white people in the movie, it looks so bad, it's comical.
I hear ya. On the other hand, sometimes this approach pays off. Have you ever seen Jean Simmons in Black Narcissus? That was a case of using make-up to turn a white girl brown (she's supposed to be a girl native of India) and it really, really works. Of course, the Archers were responsible for that, not Hollywood, and maybe only they, at the time, could pull it off.

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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2012, 10:08:22 AM »

I hear ya. On the other hand, sometimes this approach pays off. Have you ever seen Jean Simmons in Black Narcissus? That was a case of using make-up to turn a white girl brown (she's supposed to be a girl native of India) and it really, really works. Of course, the Archers were responsible for that, not Hollywood, and maybe only they, at the time, could pull it off.

Well, it is Jean Simmons...

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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2012, 02:41:36 PM »

Well, it is Jean Simmons...
Not sure I get you. I've never thought of Ms. Simmons as being particularly swarthy otherwise. Just the opposite, in fact.

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« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2012, 03:29:16 PM »

Not sure I get you. I've never thought of Ms. Simmons as being particularly swarthy otherwise. Just the opposite, in fact.

For all the years I've known you Jenkins, I still can't tell when you're joking.

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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2014, 05:34:48 AM »

Anybody here who knows what the difference is between the 144 min roadshow version and the usual 129 min version?

Is it only additional music? I only found out that it has an overture and exit music and intermission music.

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