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The French Duel (1909)

Alphonse and Gaston get into an argument over cocktails and agree to a duel.


D.W. Griffith


D.W. Griffith


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Credited cast:
John R. Cumpson ... Leon Martinel
Arthur V. Johnson ... Gaston Tortoni
Charles Avery ... Alphonse de Signoles
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Linda Arvidson
Anita Hendrie Anita Hendrie ... Nurse
Charles Inslee ... At Duel
Florence Lawrence ... Nurse
David Miles ... In Club
Owen Moore ... At Duel
Barry O'Moore ... (as Herbert Yost)
Herbert Prior
Mack Sennett ... In Club
Harry Solter Harry Solter ... At Duel


Extreme tranquility hovered over the Salon Litteraire of the Club Montmartre, and the members seemed to be in a state of ennui, the silence being broken only by the ticking of that horometrical instrument, the clock. when Mons. Leon Martinel enters in company with Mons. Gaston Tortoni, whom be introduces to Mons. Alphonse de Signoles. Alphonse orders le garçon bring a round of cocktails, and he puts an olive in each. This Tortoni objects to, but Alphonse insists, "Oui! Oui!" Tortoni then with thumb and forefinger extracts the olive from the cocktail, and hurls it, yes hurls it in the face of Alphonse. Consternation! The members stand aghast until Alphonse retaliates in like manner. Amazement! The feud is on, honor must be satisfied; a duel is inevitable, and speculation keen, as Alphonse is in the bantam class, while Tortoni is a replica of the Eiffel Tower. On the field of honor, beside the ruins of the old Conciergerie, they meet. A corps of trained nurses, doctors and undertakers ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Comedy







Release Date:

10 May 1909 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Coytesville, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Released as a split reel along with Jones and the Lady Book Agent (1909). See more »

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User Reviews

23 February 2004 | by Single-Black-MaleSee all my reviews

This short film foreshadows the future epic of 'The Birth of a Nation' in the sense that what you see in short film like this one is collated together into his three hour epic. The 34 year old D.W. Griffith invokes a nostalgic lost homogeneity that was threatened by diversity.

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