- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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How can this be?
This movie was absolutely terrible and it reinforces my dislike for Gregory Peck's attempt to do a Western. He was gravely miscast and consequently, it disrupted the dynamic of the film. Joseph Cotton ended up being terribly underused.
Good grief, just how bad can a movie be with this much talent in it? And no, I am not talking about Jennifer Jones who is totally ridiculous in a totally ridiculous part. I'm sorry, I forget, could she ever actually act? In a film with some truly talented people at their very worse, Jones's acting stands out for its over-the-top amateurishness. Gregory Peck is just miscast, and still gives "bad" his all. But Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore being just plain bad??? How did that happen?A partial answer is that the script is ludicrous, the dialogue ranks at the bottom of 40s/50s "big" film silliness. The sets are dowdy, the scenery squandered and diminished by the overblown scenic effects. Joseph Cotton comes out the best; second is Joan Telzel who plays opposite him. They seem to be in a different, better film. This is worth watching once to be amazed and horrified.
The nickname fits . . .
- Movie Lady
Hollywood nicknamed this movie "Lust in the Dust"and that appellation fits it much better than the actual title. The story's a hoot (unintentionally so of course) and the acting? Well, Lillian Gish and Joseph Cotton are excellent as always. The brilliant Gregory Peck is simply miscast. Lionel Barrymore is Lionel Barrymore, and Jennifer Jones, what can one say? At least she's beautiful. I suppose we can't blame her for the gross overacting, with David O. pushing her to ever higher levels of ludicrous tempestuousness. It would be interesting to know why he wanted his lady love to play such a slutty character. Whatever the reason, Jennifer just couldn't pull it off, though heaven knows she tried so hard it's almost embarrassing to watch. Thank goodness for her sake she'd already won her Oscar for a part so much better suited to her talents. I hope she had it with her to look at while on location playing Pearl.
Duel in the Sun
Without the talented actresses Butterfly McQueen and Lillian Gish, and add the beautiful scenery, this film would be worthless.
Duel in the sun
I saw Duel in the sun many years ago, I did enjoy it very much, I have been waiting to see it again, finally it was in the program for today, very disappointed to see you cancelled it, you showed another fine movie, but not the one I expected to finally see again...... Hope you will put it right soon......
Firstly, I wish TCM would update their DVD availability of films. This film IS available on DVD and has been for a very long while!As for this film, this is what happens when a smitten studio mogul, Selznick, wants to make a film with his paramour. During the making of this film, both Selznick's and Jones' marriages broke up because of their real-life affair. Selznick micromanaged this film so much that it devolved into a mess! He wanted it to rival his GWTW but, of course, nothing ever would! The color is lush, as is the cinematography which shows it so well. The acting by Ms. Jones may have earned her an Academy Award nomination but it was only because of Selznick pushing and pushing for the nomination. Jones did much better work in "Portrait of Jenny" and "Madame Bovary." For the life of me, I don't understand why this film got so much notoriety because of its sexual content, as there's nothing "shocking" in the film. Of course, mores were different in the late-40s and early-50s and the Hays Code was still in effect. The ending of this film is absolutely silly and very anti-climactic. This is a film you see once and that's it. btw: The narration by an uncredited but instantly recognizable voice of Orson Welles would have been unnecessary had Selznick and his co-screenplay adapter written the film better! The director, King Vidor, must have nearly lost his mind dealing with this film!
DUEL IN THE SUN
- madge h. matthews
when this movie was released i was based in memphis,tennessee, as a stewardess with American Airlines.Memphis had a very strict morality code and would not allow it to be shown in Memphis.The movie was shown in Hernando,Mississippi, which was just 20 miles from the Shelby county line from Memphis.There were six of us as Stewardess sharing a three bedroom apartment and we wanted to see this movi.I was the only one with an automobile but we were afraid to go down to Hernando alone.One of the girls was dating a fellow and we asked him if he would drive us down in my car. Which he did!!!!I am writing this to you as I sit and wait for it to be shown. THANK YOU, TCM. P.S. I am now 89 years old and how this has brought back memories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GREAT UNFORGETABLE MOVIE
- DOROTHY LOSCHIAVO
I UNDERSTAND THIS MOVIE IS NOT AVAILABLE ON A DVD BUT IT HAS BEEN SHOWN ON MY TV, TWICE, AND I MISSED IT BOTH TIMES BECAUSE IT WAS SHOWN AT I:30 A.M. I HOPE YOU WILL PLEASE SHOW IT AGAIN. I GET THE TCM CHANNEL ON MY CABLE TV. IF IT EVER BECOMES AVAILABLE ON A DVD I WANT TO PURCHASE IT.
Leonard Maltin called this film
You have to look for that comment in between the accolades. I would call the film bizarre. The scene with Peck and Jones shooting it out is beyond bizarre. If this was an attempt to rival Gone With the Wind, it was a total failure. Nothing in this film could match it. Although both were based on a novel, had great actors, character actors, cinema photography, and a duel between Directors and Producer, this film is a DUD. Having lived in the West, near where this film was set, I could not help but notice the large herds of cattle with no grass. The only green I saw was in the scrub trees, and I didn't see any giraffes. The only thing between Abilene, Texas and El Paso Texas is dessert. What water there is, feeds a few cows. The only thing worthwhile is the oil under the ground. I mention this because its symbolic about the film. It just doesn't make sense. Those who wrote better ratings probably did not know this country, or know that cattle need grass to survive. They also do not realize that everyone who lived in this area could not wait for the railroad. There were two transcontinental railroads built north. So that was another hurdle for this reviewer to get past. Fiction is fiction. However, even a good sci-fi needs some logic.Compare Gable's character to Peck's. Both were handsome men, but Peck's character was sinister, while Gable's was a likeable rogue.
Jennifer Jones in David Selznick's Sexy Western
David Selznick took the actress who played a Saint in Song of Bernadette and had her play a sluttish girl in Duel In The Sun. Joseph Cotton, Gregory Peck and Lillian Gish co star but it is Ms. Jones who is the focal point of this sultry drama getting first billing. Enjoyable western. If you read David Thomson's great red ShowmanSelznick had letters sent to bars nationwide touting the "eyeful Jennifer Jones" from 'a set bystander'. Of course this was Selznick PR at the best level. The patrons of said bars would all wonder who Joe was but all remembered to see this film which Hedda Hopper termed "sex rampant". ( OF course the film is tame by today's standards).Peck is solid and masculine dealing with the sexy Pearl aka Jennifer Jones, they make a sexy team. King Vidor directed but I believe quit due to a Selznick tantrum
Eu aprendi a gostar do Gregory Perck e da Jennifer jones vendo este fime que para mim uma super produo de David Selznick e um western de primeira qualidade. Tudo no filme fascinante
Good movie, cheesy or not
I know this movie was not well thought of or well liked by movie goers at the time, but I really like it. It is entertaining, beautifully filmed, has an all star cast, and tells a story of lust, revenge, hatred, love and murder. Sure, there are some cheesy, over the top and campy scenes, but a lot of movies from that era tend to be like that in one way or another. And yes, I think Selznick tried to do a re-creation of GWTW the Western, but so what. I thought all the lead actors were very good, and the star of the film, David O's muse, Jennifer Jones, never looked more beautiful, exotic and sexy. I'm reading a book on Selznick right now and Niven Busch, the author of the book wanted his wife, Teresa Wright, to play the role of Pearl, but she got pregnant. They also wanted Hedy Lamarr, but she also became pregnant and John Wayne, but Selznick didn't believe the Duke was right for the role. Selznick wanted JJ from the beginning, which I think was the correct choice to play Pearl. (She had to be borrowed from another studio) She got into the character very well as did all the stars of the film. I recommend this movie, cheeseball or not. If not for the story, then to see great character actors like Gish and Barrymore and the young good looking leads like Jones, Peck and Cotton.
A True Horse Opera.
Jennifer Jones emotes like an out of control Opera Diva, but somehow there's a sort of fascination in watching this melodrama unfold with all the excesses of the very worst libretto. Joseph Cotton is excellent as always, he was fortunate enough to play to the only believable character. The role of Lewt is ridiculous, but Gregory Peck actually manages to infuse some charm into a rather embarrassing role. I find myself wondering what such an intelligent actor must have thought of this film.As always, Lionel Barrymore plays Lionel Barrymore.The ending is rather silly, and I admit to laughing a little during the last few minutes..
A Raw, Sex-Laden Western.
- Frank Harris Horn
Oscar-winning producer, David O. Selznick brings Niven Busch's novel to life on the silver screen with Oscar winner, Jennifer Jones as a beautiful half-breed Indian maiden, and Joseph Cotten and Gregory Peck as two feuding siblings caught in a fierce love triangle, and one of the brothers is an outlaw wanted for murder. Los Angeles and Simi Valley, California, Tucson, Yuma, Tumacacori, Dragoon, Texas Canyon, and Cochise County, Arizona provide the beautiful Western scenary in the picture. A magnificent blend of love, hate, sibling rivalry, racism, and infidelity. Also starring Lionel Barrymore, Herbert Marshall, Lillian Gish, Walter Huston, Charles Bickford, Harry Carey, Tilly Losch, Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen, Otto Kruger, Scott McKay, Charles Dingle, Sidney Blackmer, Robert McKenzie, Frank Cordell, Dan White, Steve Dunhill & Si Jenks.
A Baroque Technicolor Visual Poem
- Sue McDonald
What a Technicolor visual poem! May this Baroque painting of love, hate, excess, and human error in the American West hang forever in the halls of Hollywood hedonism. The most outstanding verse in the visual poem presents a regretful Lionel Barrymore sitting in his wheelchair on the hilltop of the grandiose world he has created (Spanish Bit), experiencing the epiphany of a dramatically symbolic sunset. What a cast! Never mind that Jennifer Jones's acting is over the top. After all, she is the focus for all the major themes in the movie: brotherly discord (in the Joseph Cotton and Gregory Peck roles) the racism, sexism, and evil inherent in white male power (the Barrymore, Peck, and Walter Huston roles) the second-generation attempt to overcome these flaws (the Joseph Cotton role) and, finally, the failure of a good woman's love to avert tragedy (the Lillian Gish role)What a climax! Come on, folks; it's not supposed to be realistic. It's Baroque. Don't try to fix it.
The Good and the Bad
This movie has tons of great material, sibling rivalry, daddy/son stuff, racism, infidelity and redemption, potential never realized. This movie could be watched without dialogue and would have had more impact. Jennifer Jones over-the-top acting throughout was at times nauseating. Still it is visually a beaut, and I really enjoy watching the great supporting cast. After suffering through Miss Jones performance, I can't believe I finished watching this movie, but I HAD to see ending. The love/hate aspect to the central relationship is hard to swallow.
A cinema experience.
- Malcolm James
A wonderful,over the top, fantasy of how we would all like life to be. The score was excellent as was the casting and story and colour photography.
Crazy plot but you can't stop watching
This first time I watched this, I just couldn't believe how over the top it was. Everything was overdone. But I couldn't stop myself from watching to the very end. Jennifer Jones is beautiful in this, Gregory Peck is CRAZY, everyone else overacts but is good. Joseph Cotten is really the only one who does a normal job of acting. The ending is really kind of comical but it is worth the experience of watching. Even more than once....
An Excellent Selznick Classic
- Jeffrey Kenison
A very well done western classic. I especially like the cast including Jennifer Jones, Lionel Barrymore, Lilian Gish, Walter Huston, Herbert Marshall, etc. Very color Technicolor.
Dum and dumer in the Sun
I love TCM, and westerns in general. But I acually fell asleep before the end. Jen Jones and her hubby Selznick wasted money, and some of the greatest actors in this horse opera. Joe Cotton is wasted and actually disapears for most of the film. Who could blam him. Placing is pain fully slow. I should have know based on the 15 minutes of music before the film started. Was this Selznick idea to fool people twice with "Gone with the Tumbleweeds" aproach? Too bad he didn't hire a writer other than himself that would have had the brains to use all actors not just make it a Jen Jones love fest. Sorry she can pull off the part, even if she is in every shot. It worth the watching just for Greg Peck, very young and the most different part you will ever see him in. Before he got type cast.
1940's chick flick
I thought that some of the elements in this movie were absolutely outstanding including the color, music, and the camerawork. However, it was a thin story that was way too melodramatic. Jennifer Jones' performance made me wince.It's one of those movies that because of the outstanding cast, and the hype, I kept hoping that story would get better. It didn't. But, I must admit, even though the ending went way over the top, it was like watching a train wreckI had to find out what finally happened!
- Bob Hendrick
This overblown production might be explained away by David O.Selznick trying to recapture past glory (Gone With The Wind). It's a valiant effort by a great cast; but they are saddled with a potboiler of a plot; and too many climactic scenes. This could have been a great film with more thought to the plot; but paradoxically, it still retains an undeniable attraction. The ending though inevitable, is still a mild surprise (in spite of the hint in the opening credits). Nice try Mr. Selznick; but if you could have lived in reverse, you should have heeded George C. Scott's exit lines in "Patton" . . . that "All Glory Is Fleeting."
The main article on this movie doesn't mention the great supporting cast: Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Charles Bickford. Many talents make this a great melodrama.
I normally dont like westerns but this is my favorite.Gregory Peck is sexy as the bad guy and I loved Jennifer Jones as the fiery Pearl,what an amazing movie!