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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Film!

    Ridley Scott's first film starring Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel exploring the concepts of honor, belligerence, and duels in the context of 19th century France during the Napoleanic Wars. Carradine and Keitel play the roles of two French officers in Napoleon's army engaged in a perpetual series of duels lasting over 20 years. The plot tension of endless duels reflects the ongoing thematic clash between belligerence and honor and how each feeds the other. Each character mirrors the opposite side of the spectrum of belligerence and honor throughout the story until the end. Keitel, in one of his best roles, plays a belligerent officer whose ego seeks to establish honor by sheer agression; no pretext is too small or absurd for him to fight a duel to the death. Caradine is his antagonist who will defend his honor to the last; even where the pretext of insult is so groundless to be even too comical to fight over. A parrallel theme is shown between Keitel's belligerent character and Napoleon's imperialistic egotism. At the end, Keitel's character is the one who remains a loyal supporter of Napoleon to the last while Caradine has moved on to associate himself with the returned aristocracy and cozy entourage of King Louis XVIII. The last scene shows Keitel wearing a Napoleanic hat paralleling how Napoleon would have looked over the seas from either St Helen or Elba still dreaming of reasserting his honor for the rest of the world to see. As usual, Ridley Scott immerses the audience in a plush, almost dreamlike, imagery of the European landscape with all the pageantry of the Napoleonic era. A good movie that has all of the right elements and appeals to all genders.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Put this early Ridley Scott film on your list...

    Visually stunning, hauntingly well written by Joesph Conrad, well acted...this movie combines everything needed for a successful cinematic experience...if you like good movies, see/buy this one...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2002

    Historical epos

    This is a story about the hate between to proud soldiers in Napoleons army. Maybe is this the best of Ridley Scotts movies. With the wonderful music of Howard Blake it is the best spend 90 minutes in front of a TV you can have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2000

    Amazing atmosphere and historical detail

    Ridley Scott's fine film captures the sweep of the Napoleonic Wars by focusing on the almost psychopathic relationship of two officers in the French Army. A fascinating analysis of personal honor, violence, and military culture. The historical details are amazing, with even the smallest changes in uniform from year to year being meticulously observed. The cinematography is superb, the reliance on natural lighting in particular really evokes the period beautifully. The action sequences - the duels themsleves - are amongst the most gripping and realistic ever filmed. It is no surprise that this film is a favorite amongst historians and students of the Napoleonic Wars, but it is also a thoughful, beautifully crafted film of general interest. Superb.

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