Before creating Duel in the Sun, legendary producer David O Selznick dreamed of making another magnum opus like his 1939 production of Gone with the Wind; he also proposed to make Jennifer Jones, his ladylove then second wife, a megastar. Thus Duel in the Sun (Lust in the Dust to some) was created as an extravagant Technicolor epic about the collision of the old West with the new, offering wide-open spaces with railroads and barbed wire, and juxtaposing character traits such as hot-blooded outlaws alongside civilised folk who are often wimpy or unwell. The film begins... among giant rocks drenched in a blood-red sunset, with velvet-voiced Orson Welles intoning the legend of doomed Pearl Chavez and her demon lover; Duel in the Sun never strays far from lush romanticism, spiced with a dash of S/M. The cast is huge (a lubriciously wicked Gregory Peck, Lillian Gish, Joseph Cotton, Lionel Barrymore, Walter Huston, Harry Carey, Herbert Marshall, Charles Bickford, Butterfly McQueen) and there are unforgettable set pieces, the most notable being the lovers' final shootout among those red rocks, as orgiastic a finale as you could ask for. --Kathleen Murphy, Amazon.com [show more]
Extraordinarily frank and sexually explicit, not just for its day but for the present. The performances of the 2 leads are immaculate. It is however Jennifer Jones' film and she was never served better by the director or the camera. The colour is exquisite and matches the out of control passions of the doomed lovers. The ending has to be seen to be believed...some have compare4d it to Wagner. Which brings me to the score. One of the finest ever composed for film. Everyone should know this film even if it is not their cup of tea. It is clearly mine. One of my all time favourite films.
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