Duel in the Sun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Duel in the Sun Reviews

Page 2 of 8
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.
August 21, 2013
August 21, 2013
Very long story about perhaps the most stupid girl in cinema history.
August 18, 2013
Great cast and lush colour photography.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2013
Yes, the Jennifer Jones-Gregory Peck stuff is a little over the top but this film is incredibly entertaining. Though not intentionally funny, this is grade A comedy.
August 5, 2013
Controversial to the audience in the 1940s, Duel in the Sun becomes unbearable to contemporary viewers. Featuring love and hatred, sibling rivalry, sexual desire and the great Western desert, the film could have been a great classic. Unfortunately, the magnificent Jennifer Jones became an annoying dumbass one wishes she could behave at least with a little sense; while Gregory Peck's spoiled and exploitative character, despite the drastic difference from his established image, looks like nothing more than a sick maniac. Lillian Gish's efforts are not enough to reverse the replacement of the supposed sentiments with the wish to send the 2 protagonists to mental institutes. The only relief at the end is that the farce is finally over.
Super Reviewer
½ May 4, 2013
well, after making fun of this for years, i finally watched it and it was pretty damned entertaining. jennifer jones pulls some weird faces and tiomkin's score is too bombastic as usual, but it kept me interested throughout. i don't get the allegations of racism here. do people think no one ever used the word halfbreed? that ending is still pretty silly but easier to take in context
February 11, 2013
Vale la pena por su grandioso final y una deslumbrante fotografia a todo color.
½ January 2, 2013
El final de Duelo al Sol es de los mas epicos que recuerdo, teniendo el beso mas apasionado nunca visto en el cine, cuyo pre-requisito es zamparse 2 horas no tan fluidas y apasionadas.
½ November 28, 2012
If it weren't for Jennifer Jones hoaky performance and Snooki-esque tan, I would call this film a masterpiece on par with Gone With The Wind. Instead it stands a shadow of what could have been. Shame on Selznik for thinking with his dick and not his head.
July 29, 2012
For a top rated western I found this one a dud.
Unbelievably bad story. No one loves someone so much that they go back over and over again, then shoots them. Just plain stupid.
Super Reviewer
½ June 28, 2012
David O. Selznick's misguided attempt to recreate the success of GWTW in a western setting. The film has pleasures to be sure but also some woefully terrible parts. On the plus side: the cinematography is gorgeous and some of the supporting performances are good, Lillian Gish and Charles Bickford come off best. However there are some fatal flaws: a meager story to pin two and a half hours of film on and an overly earnest tone are two big deficits but what really hurts the film the most is the complete miscasting of the two leads. Gregory Peck was a fine actor but he was also an icon of resolute decency, whereas other actors with that persona like Henry Fonda could occasionally play a villain convincingly Peck could not. His casting alone would not be so bad if it wasn't paired against the absurdity of Jennifer Jones as Pearl. While I'll admit to never being a fan of hers within a limited range she could be an okay actress when the role wasn't too demanding, for instance The Towering Inferno. Pearl Chavez is far outside that scope, the part isn't really that good to begin with, even an actress as skillful as Vivien Leigh would probably been hard pressed to make her real although Ava Gardner with her raw sensuality could have made her work, but Jones mistakes over emphasis with depth and Vidor's florid style of direction doesn't help her. Part of the blame probably rests with Selznick's famed smothering control and that fact he was determined to make Jones the greatest of all stars which resulted often in putting her in material for which she was not suited and away from her strengths as a performer. The film is entertaining in an often campy way but one viewing should be enough.
½ June 18, 2012
They ought to rename this "Dull in the Sun" as it was dull, dull, dull. Apart from a few wonderful horses, and a mildly amusing episode with some jam, nothing much happened and it all happened very slowwwwly. The 'big' showdown at the end was as lame as can be and I was already bored silly an hour before it arrived. 5.5/10
June 5, 2012
It's big, exciting, sensationalistic; also technically strong. One of King Vidor's best films.
May 21, 2012
This is the mother of all pot-boilers, Everything about is over the top... the plot, the acting, the characters, all so overdone and scenery chewing, it's impossible not to laugh at the overdone happenings played out before you. I love this movie -- it's my greatest guilty pleasure.
April 14, 2012
Jennifer Jones gives a lesson in overacting as one of the most idiotic characters I have ever had the misfortune to witness. It all becomes pretty annoying by the end.
March 31, 2012
I should have liked this a bit more than I did. After all, it does have Joseph Cotten and Gregory Peck in it (two of my favorites), but I don't. I can't say the I enjoy seeing a weak woman being weak, and especially not gaining any strength. She almost seems like she's going to be strong toward the end, but cops out. Another reason I feel this film fails is its length. It has 'Gone with the Wind' itis. Tries to be a big sweeping epic about a time and place and the people in it, when it's actually just a private character study trying to be something it's not, with a weak ending. A shame that, because it does have some good things going for it.
March 21, 2012
This movie is pretty ridiculous. Great actors like Gregory Peck and Lillian Gish at work, and Jennifer Jones is nice on the eyes, but the script and performances are so overwrought that it's almost laughable. The scenery is beautiful, but this is a "classic" only in the sense that it's still remembered. Why it should be, I don't know.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2012
A Western soap opera played as if it were Cecil B. DeMille's Ten Commandments, with every iota of the accompanying self-importance and then some, but with only the barest bones of a plot and script. Unintentionally laugh worthy and yet hard not to watch, like a over emotional drunk acquaintance crying over a breakup. "She ain't nor never was worth yer tears, friend."
December 1, 2011
Duelo al sol [1946]
Page 2 of 8