Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swords, snits and sinewy soldiers

     One of the most lusciously filmed movies I ever watched was released in 1977. The Duellists starred very young and fairly new actors Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel. Both were beautiful, fit, lean. Sinewy legs and round buns in skin tight uniforms. 

    Besides the actors, the movie scenery was lavish and the score was  sensual. I think a the producers used a lot of Mozart. The movie also was Ridley Scott's debut film. What surprised me was that such an excellent movie had such limited release at the time. I saw it for the first time last year. 
    It was narrated artfully by Stacey Keach. The story was based on actual events. Novel-noir writer Joseph Conrad read about the duelists an old newspaper. The clipping told of a lifelong grudge between two soldiers who dueled every few years over the same insult. The transgression was long forgotten, or perhaps never really existed but in the minds of one or both.  In the movie, the duels take place during the course of the Napoleonic rule, and end when it ends.

     Period pieces have to be gripping to keep my attention. I did enjoy both  Pride And Prejudice 1995 and 2006. Also Sense and Sensibility and most recently  Marie Antoinette in 2004.  If you get a chance, Joseph Conrad's the Duellists is worth watching. Oh those men in uniform can be a handful.

   Here are a few scenes:

and this little gem:

check these out:

this is better!

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