Duel in the Sun

Duel in the Sun

4.2 4
Director: King Vidor

Cast: Griff Barnett, Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck


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David O. Selznick's sweeping production of King Vidor's Duel in the Sun comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer (as should any film produced before 1955). The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include the prelude, overture, and exit music, asSee more details below


David O. Selznick's sweeping production of King Vidor's Duel in the Sun comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer (as should any film produced before 1955). The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include the prelude, overture, and exit music, as well as teasers and trailers. This landmark movie has been a favorite of many filmmakers (Martin Scorsese has discussed its influence on him numerous times), making this a disc worth owning.In David O. Selznick's florid, overheated melodrama Duel in the Sun Jennifer Jones stars as half-Native American Pearl Chavez, who everyone has tagged as a "bad girl" foredoomed to an unhappy end. Her father is Scott Chavez (Herbert Marshall), an ill-fated fellow who kills his wife and her lover (Sidney Blackmer) and gets hung for it. Pearl is taken into the home of the greedy rancher McCanles (Lionel Barrymore) and his kindly wife Laura Belle (Lillian Gish), who'd once been Scott's sweetheart. McCanles's virtuous son Jesse (Joseph Cotten), befriends Pearl and ffeels some stirrings of attraction to her, though Jesse is far more taken by Helen Langford (Joan Tetzel), the daughter of a wealthy railroad tycoon (Otto Kruger). In the mean time, Pearl catches the eye of Jesse's evil brother, ne'er-do-well Lewt (Gregory Peck), who seduces her but refuses to marry her. Pearl falls for straw boss Sam Pierce (Charles Bickford), who proposes marriage, though the engagement is short-lived: Lewt learns of the couple's involvement and ends up killing Sam; then McCanles turns up and cautions Lewt to stay out of sight until things quiet down. Lewt indeed flees the premises and becomes an outlaw. Meanwhile, McCanles organizes his cattlemen into an enormous stand against Kruger and other railroad men; Jesse initially decides to aid his father but then switches sides at the last moment, and in response, McCanles disowns him. With this film, producer Selznick attempted to recreate the success of Gone with the Wind; it fell far short in terms of box office success, though Duel was critically acclaimed upon release. Many have often jokingly referred to the picture as 'Lust in the Dust,' which eventually became the actual title of a 1985 comedy western by Paul Bartel.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Karen Backstein
With enough steamy melodrama to delight just about anyone, King Vidor's grand-scale Technicolor western tells its elemental tale on a stage of wide-open spaces and broiling desert landscapes. Duel in the Sun was meant to showcase the talents of actress Jennifer Jones, the soon-to-be-wife of mega-producer David O. Selznick. The egomaniacal executive conceived this movie especially for her and closely oversaw every aspect of its development. Jones plays Pearl Chavez, a half-breed street dancer given the opportunity to become a "lady" when some distant cousins take her in. Unfortunately, her ripe sexuality "bursts forth" at every opportunity, causing a rivalry between nice-guy Jesse (Joseph Cotten) and the lawless but irresistible Lewt -- played by Gregory Peck with sex practically oozing from every pore. Buried underneath this overheated romance are vexed questions about race, gender, and civilization. But nothing beats the knockout ending, a visually overwhelming shoot-out in the burning desert rocks that combines violence and sexual obsession in a uniquely heady brew.
All Movie Guide
Appropriately nicknamed "Lust in the Dust," Duel in the Sun is a wacky, grandiose melodrama, famous for its sexual innuendo. Producer David O. Selznick was attempting to top his success with Gone With the Wind, and though it did make quite a lot of money, Duel never matched the level of public and critical adulation of his previous film. It's still good fun to watch, especially the riotous ending. Despite starring the producer's second wife, Jennifer Jones, and a host of other big names (Gregory Peck, Lillian Gish, Joseph Cotten, Lionel Barrymore), the film relegates the performers mostly to the background -- as they are in the final shot. Selznick was so keen on producing the "biggest movie ever" that, in 1946, Duel was the most expensive film ever made. The producer's meddling in the filmmaking process drove director King Vidor from the picture, and five other uncredited directors would work on the film after him, including Josef von Sternberg and William Dieterle.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Starz / Anchor Bay
[Dolby Digital]

Special Features

Full-frame presentation; Prelude, overture, and exit music; Teaser, trailers, and tags

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Griff Barnett The Jailer
Jennifer Jones Pearl Chavez
Gregory Peck Lewt McCanles
Charles Bickford Sam Pierce
Joseph Cotten Jesse McCanles
Lionel Barrymore Senator McCanles
Sidney Blackmer The Lover
Harry Carey Lem Smoot
Lillian Gish Laura Belle McCanles
Lane Chandler Captain, US Cavalry
Walter Huston Preacher
Herbert Marshall Scott Chavez
Frank Cordell Frank
Thomas P. Dillon Engineer
Charles Dingle Sheriff Hardy
Steve Dunhill Jake
Otto Kruger Mr. Langford
Tilly Losch Mrs. Chavez
Francis McDonald Gambler
Scott McKay Sid
Bob McKenzie Bartender
Butterfly McQueen Vashti
Lloyd Shaw Barbecue Caller
Joan Tetzel Helen Langford
Dan White Ed
Si Jenks Actor
Lee Phelps Engineer
Rose Plummer Dancer
Bert Roach Eater
Al Taylor Man at Barbecue
Orson Welles Narrator
Guy Wilkerson Barfly
Johnny Bond Hand at Barbeque
Victor Kilian Gambler
Hank Worden Cowhand

Technical Credits
King Vidor Director
James Basevi Art Director
Charles P. Boyle Cinematographer
Jack Cosgrove Special Effects
Allen M. Davey Cinematographer
Richard DeWeese Sound/Sound Designer
Lowell J. Farrell Asst. Director
John D. Faure Editor
Charles Freeman Editor
Lee Garmes Cinematographer
Oliver H.P. Garrett Screenwriter
John Ewing Art Director
J. McMillan Johnson Production Designer
Hal Kern Editor
Emile Kuri Set Decoration/Design
Tilly Losch Choreography
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Ray Rennahan Cinematographer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
David O. Selznick Producer,Screenwriter
Lloyd Shaw Choreography
Clarence Slifer Special Effects
James G. Stewart Sound/Sound Designer
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
William H. Ziegler Editor

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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Chapter Selection
1. Prelude [9:27]
2. Overture [2:12]
3. Opening Credits/Legend Of A Wildflower [3:36]
4. The Beginning Of The End [4:56]
5. A Father's Final Wish [3:22]
6. When Strangers Talk [3:30]
7. The McCanles Empire [3:54]
8. Dreams And Desires At Spanish Bit [8:15]
9. Horseplay [10:13]
10. Encounter At The Sump [4:48]
11. The Blessing Of A Sin Killer [3:38]
12. At War With The Railroad [8:02]
13. A Line In The Sand [3:12]
14. Unbridled Passions [2:40]
15. One Son Says Goodbye [8:03]
16. Taming The Wild Beast [4:32]
17. A Piquant Barbecue [6:55]
18. Enter The Straw Boss [9:06]
19. One Son Crosses The Line [7:02]
20. Misplaced Loyalties [6:52]
21. The Passing Of A Lady [3:25]
22. Coming Back (But Not Home) [6:26]
23. Blood Between Brothers [3:02]
24. Contrition Of A Lonely Old Man [4:33]
25. A Ride To Heaven And Hell [1:14]
26. The Duel [7:53]
27. Exit [2:59]

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