6.8/10
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99 user 45 critic

Duel in the Sun (1946)

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors:

King Vidor, Otto Brower (uncredited) | 5 more credits »

Writers:

David O. Selznick (screenplay), Niven Busch (suggested by a novel by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jones ... Pearl Chavez
Joseph Cotten ... Jesse McCanles
Gregory Peck ... Lewton 'Lewt' McCanles
Lionel Barrymore ... Sen. Jackson McCanles
Herbert Marshall ... Scott Chavez
Lillian Gish ... Laura Belle McCanles
Walter Huston ... The Sinkiller
Charles Bickford ... Sam Pierce
Harry Carey ... Lem Smoot
Joan Tetzel ... Helen Langford
Tilly Losch ... Mrs. Chavez
Butterfly McQueen ... Vashti
Scott McKay ... Sid
Otto Kruger ... Mr. Langford
Sidney Blackmer ... The Lover
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Storyline

When her father is hanged for shooting his wife and her lover, half-breed Pearl Chavez goes to live with distant relatives in Texas. Welcomed by Laura Belle and her elder lawyer son Jesse, she meets with hostility from the ranch-owner himself, wheelchair-bound Senator Jackson McCanles, and with lustful interest from womanising, unruly younger son Lewt. Almost at once, already existing family tensions are exacerbated by her presence and the way she is physically drawn to Lewt. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

FURIOUS, UNFORGETTABLE LOVE! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1947 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

King Vidor's Duel in the Sun See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,408,163

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,428,771
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(roadshow)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was nicknamed "Lust in the Dust", which would later serve as the inspiration for the film Lust in the Dust (1984). See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow on Dice's head when Lewt invited Pearl to go swimming after dinner. See more »

Quotes

Lewt McCanles: You double-crossin' bobcat.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original "roadshow" version ran 144 minutes. The additional 16 minutes, over the commonly-shown 128 minute version, consisted of a musical "prelude," an "overture" (which contained a spoken prologue, by Reed Hadley), and exit music, but no additional scenes in the film. The two additional opening sequences were each inadvertently given the other's label. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Gregory Peck (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

First Party Music
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Frank Perkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Just remember, don't call her "Honey".
9 September 2000 | by spordesignSee all my reviews

PURE OPERA. From the scenic backdrops seething in passionate colors to Jennifer Jones' over-ripe performance and Dimitri Tiomkin's tempestuous score...'Duel In The Sun' isn't just another soapy oater, it is the ultimate soapy oater. Brimming with more bad taste than any screenwriter could possibly misconceive, this Selznick classic is the penultimate guilty viewing pleasure...if you like you're Westerns on the sleazy side that is!

The performances are all unapologetically over-the-top, with Ms. Jones, in an Oscar winning performance no less, as Pearl Chavez, the 'half-breed' vixen torn between lust for Gregory Peck's Lewt McCanles, the bad-boy brother gone badder, and the 'save-me-from-myself' brand of love for Joseph Cotten's Jesse McCanles, the good brother with not-a-whole-heck-of-alot of sex appeal going for him. In between all this indecision, Ms. Jones sets fire to the scenery with as many sultry leers and poses as, I suppose, the censors of the time would permit her. "I'm TRASH, TRASH, TRASH," Pearl exclaims. And that about sums it all up. In spades! I should also make mention of the other Oscar winning performance, that by the venerable Lillian Gish as Laura Belle McCanles who, in perhaps the most painfully rapturous sequence, resurrects her silent film training in a tour-de-force of physical acting that, in less capable hands, would only be embarrassing. Not that you won't be tempted to laugh mind you, even Grand Opera, at the best of times, isn't this exquisitely sublime. And then there is Butterfly McQueen...as the befuddled maid (what else)...in the only role written for obvious comedic effect, whose long-winded sincerity couldn't be the more perfect foil for a hurried house full of whitees with nothing but sex on the brain...

On the technical side, it is an unquestionably ravishing film to look at. In glorious Technicolor, the 'Old West' never looked more mythic or more prone to tragedy...the 'campy' side that is. And, yet once more, Dimitri Tiomkin finesses our ears with a resounding melody of wide open spaces and of still bigger ambitions and desires, culminating in a symphonic tempest for two ill-fated (or over-sexed) lovers who could only be united in death.

WOW, this picture is right off the Harlequin Romance map! And I enjoyed every minute of it.


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