Duel in the Sun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Duel in the Sun Reviews

Page 2 of 8
½ June 8, 2006
151226: If in 2015 I feel this film is a bit harsh, I wonder what 1946 audiences would have thought? From racism to cattle and familial rivalry to the iron horse, I believe this film would be more appropriately called "Duels in the Sun" or perhaps just "Duels". Black hearts result in black endings, for all the twisted souls in this film...except Sid. Some overly dramatic acting here but not a bad western.
November 25, 2014
While a little overwrought, Duel in the Sun is helped by King Vidor's masterful eye and Gregory Peck, playing against-type as the villain.
April 28, 2015
If you want movie entertainment Duiel is where you go.
½ February 21, 2015
Sprawling epic western has half breed boarding up with her distant family and becoming involved in a love triangle with her half cousins. A film whose obvious grand designs fell short on execution. Lead actress Jennifer Jones would be nominated for an Academy Award and later marry the producer.
February 18, 2015
Any girl who was my girl is still my girl. That's the type of guy I am.

Pearl Chavez is a half breed at a time of native American mixed children were frowned upon; however, Pearl is beautiful and adopted by a man with two sons. The sons grow up one good and one bad and both in love with Pearl. The bad one gets her, and the good one moves away; but when things go bad for Pearl, hopefully the good brother will save her.

"Act like I'm not even here. Act like we never even met."

King Vidor, director of War and Peace, The Citadel, The Fountainhead, Lightening Strikes Twice, The Big Parade, Three Wise Fools, and Dusk to Dawn (1922), delivers Duel in the Sun. The storyline for this film is very good and was intense in several scenes. The acting was astronomically good and the cast contains Gregory peck, Joseph Cotton, Lionel Barrymore, Jennifer Jones, Lillian Gish, Harry Carey, Otto Kruger, and Butterfly McQueen.

"I should have done that to you years ago."

This was a surprisingly good western where Peck delivered a magnificent villain role. His performance was so wiry, loose, and unpredictable. His character had a ruthless swagger that gripped the picture and didn't let go till the final scene. This is a must see for fans of Peck and a very unique role for him.

"I bet I can hit that ding dong straight on."

Grade: A
½ October 17, 2014
Even the knock-off of Gone with the Wind is excellent.
January 20, 2015
Vale la pena por su grandioso final y una deslumbrante fotografia a todo color.
January 13, 2015
David O. Selznick intenta duplicar el éxito de "Gone With The Wind" con un épico de dos horas y media (incluyendo prólogo y epílogo) acerca de una mujer mestiza (Jennifer Jones) y su relación con dos hermanos: uno bueno y noble (Joseph Cotten) y otro irresponsable y violento (Gregory Peck). A veces demasiado melodramática, a veces demasiado grandilocuente, pero efectiva y con un final tan extraño como contundente.
December 13, 2014
wohoo love hate relationship :D
Hal
April 24, 2014
Good story line, cast, sets, cinematography...but not well directed by King Vidor. Critical scenes are clumsily handled; the final shootout seriously botched.
½ March 31, 2014
David O. Selznick's western melodrama that was intended to recreate his success with "Gone With the Wind." Duel doesn't doesn't reach those heights, mostly due to a muddled script by Selznik himself (the first cut of the film reportedly ran 26 hours) and lots on on-set meddling by Selznik (he was dating the film's star Jennifer Jones at the time and hired and fired a number of directors, even directing the film himself at one point). However, the film does overcome it's melodramatic faults with a terrific cast (Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Walter Huston, Charles Bickford, Harry Carey, Otto Kruger and the great Hank Worden), excellent production values (the film went way over budget), a nice score by Dimitri Tiomkin, and fine performances by the three leads (Jones, Peck and Cotten). The script was originally written with Hedy Lamarr and John Wayne in mind, which I think might have been an interesting version to have seen, but the version we do have is nowhere as bad as it's reputation, though it's also quite a missed opportunity considering the talent involved.
½ February 8, 2014
Lust In The Dust With THAT Girl Pearl--Magnificent and Colorful Western!!
February 7, 2014
Lavishly produced attempt to top Gone With the Wind - the swooning melodrama this time is even more pantomime and ridiculously overdone. The characters don't help. Barrymore is the devil, Cotton is dull, Peck is despicable, and Jones either plays the dumbest character ever on screen, or (more likely) was the dumbest actress ever on screen. Way too much cruelty, way too much stupidity, very little sympathy. Which is a shame, because the desert cinematography in this film is outstanding, the production in general is outstanding, and the scene of hundreds of horses galloping together is truly spectacular - by forties or any other standards.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ January 1, 2014
Originally I had no intentions of seeing this, but, due to the fact that it really angered the Catholic Church back in the day, and the fact that Martin Scorsese, known for his great taste, holds this in high regard (it was the first film he ever saw), I finally got curious and decided to give it a watch and...

...frankly this film is kind of a joke. It's a big, grand, melodramatic western romance that tries to be the western equivalent of Gone With The Wind, and doesn't quite make it there.

This is a grand and gorgeous film, but it's also an overlong, overblown, and rather silly soap opera.

The plot follows a half breed beauty named Pearl who goes to live with some wealthy relatives after her father is executed for killing his unfaithful wife. Pearl doesn't get on too well with the patriarch, but when it comes to his two sons, well, that's a different story. She falls in love with one, and in lust with the other, with the bulk of the film being a sordid love triangle that, sue, in the mid 40s probably was scandalous due to the sexual tensions and innuendos, but today comes off as tame, and really ridiculous and silly.

The film has some okay performances though, like Jennifer Jones as Pearl (though she's not really that believable as a half-breed) and Gregory Peck and Joseph Cotton as the two brothers Pearl is torn between. Lionel Barrymore and lillian Gish are also around, and they help elevate the material some, but even then this is still a bit of a mess, though at least an ambitious one.

The film does look great though, with some stunning cinematography and camera work, as well as some decent music,. Unfortunately, this is a very dated picture that's also quite boring. Maybe if this were far shorter it would be a lot better.

All in all, I can give this some respect on a technical level, and a bit in the acting area, but overall I can't say I totally liked this.
½ November 24, 2013
At some point in the movie, I realized "Duel in the Sun" is more on the side of showing a racist and sexist society instead of being a racist and sexist film. Some of the prejudice did bother me. It has a great cast: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, and Lillian Gish. A Western obviously will show the landscape, but I think this one in particular is more keen on its story and characters. Peck and Cotten play brothers, the former is "bad," the latter is "good." Jennifer Jones' character Pearl is half White and half Native American, she is shunned from the beginning because of that, as she comes to live with the two brothers' mother played by Lillian Gish. The whole film explores Jennifer Jones' character which is chained with stereotypes; all she wants to be is a "lady," but there are instances where she gives in to her "trash" mentality. Rather than buying in to the film's prejudice (which would diminish a well made film), I tried to see Pearl in a different light, I think she is just a person who wants some sort of acceptance, she wants to be loved which is why she at times gives in to the renegade Lewt (Peck). Peck as a villain did surprise me, I think he does a hell of a job at it, he backs up his toughness by not even flinching if he has to shoot a blood relative.

I think it's a better film than given credit for and it's also not terribly melodramatic. I've read that this was the first film Martin Scorsese ever saw and as I was watching its conclusion I realized it's one of the films Jean-Luc Godard talks about in his monumental "Histoire(s) du cinéma."
August 27, 2013
In 1946 producer David O Selznick was looking to top his masterwork Gone With the Wind.
So he hired director King Vidor,tampered with the screenplay and ramped everything up to 11 in the hope he could capture lightning in a bottle as he had done in 1939.
The result was Vidor walked when Selznick started directing over his shoulder and the producer cast his mistress in the lead role and by doing that scuppered any chances of making this film a masterpiece

So the final result has a kind of over the top grandieur which is let down by Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten being so drippy in there roles and only Gregory Peck delivering the kind of perfomance which matches the producers grand vision.

The film looks great and there are plenty of memorable set pieces which only a classic Hollywood film can provide.
But as i pointed out the two leads are dull Jones cant really act halfbreed and Cotten is lumbered with a boring good guy part while Peck steals the film from both of them.
Martin Scorsese has pointed out that the film is flawed and i am inclined to agree with him and its a long way from the best films that Vidor made for the studio system.

An interesting failiure and a good film to watch alongside the equally flawed Heavens Gate.
May 1, 2013
AWESOME EPIC WESTERN
August 21, 2013
Very long story about perhaps the most stupid girl in cinema history.
Page 2 of 8