The Duellists

release year: 1978
genre: drama
viewing setting: home laserdisc, 8/4/99
what I expected: no idea
what I got: fairly entertaining study in various interpretations of "honor"

synopsis: In 1800, two soldiers fight a minor duel for no real reason at all - but end up fighting again and again over the next fifteen years as they become mortal enemies.

impressions: I thought it would be boring, but it actually moved along pretty fast. One of the two main characters didn't really want any trouble in the first place and was basically a nice guy, while the other seemed to just want to fight and cause trouble. We never really gain much insight into this latter character or his motivations for acting like this. The movie suffered from its characters' accents as well as the "Renaissance problem": people back then never dealt with things directly, and custom/tradition/society were rigid and often foolish.

acting: Keith Carradine did a good job as the "good" guy, while Harvey Keitel did a good job with a fairly simple role as the "bad" guy.

final word: Interesting, but often foolish and a little slow.

rating: C

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