Competent feature debut of director Ridley Scott, who would go on to make the popular science-fiction films ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER, THE DUELLISTS is a beautifully photographed adaptation of a Joseph Conrad story in which two officers in Napoleon's army, Carradine and Keitel, fall out and
proceed to engage in an obsessive series of duels for the next 30 years. The film's outstanding beauty is not enough to compensate its slim story, which remains preoccupied with the duellists' insane obsession with military codes of conduct and personal honor.
The leads are often remarkable, but neither of them seems quite fitting to a period setting. Therefore the burden of aut...