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"The Duelists - true story" Topic

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09 Jun 2022 9:57 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions boardRemoved from Utter Drivel board

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COL Scott ret22 Mar 2021 1:26 p.m. PST

On a semi regular basis someone will post something about the movie The Duelists, I hadn't looked previously but it is at least partly based on fact. I am now inspired to watch it as they are no longer just Hollywood stereotypes.


This link is from NRA Family, W.H. "Chip" Gross is the author. It isn't political neither does anyone die in this article.

My Poll question is are you more or less likely to watch a movie if you know it is "based on a true story"?

COL Scott ret22 Mar 2021 1:33 p.m. PST

I did forget to add in all the usual Poll questions – but they are just not my cup of tea. wink

4DJones22 Mar 2021 1:53 p.m. PST

Don't forget the film is based on the short story 'The Duel' by Joseph Conrad, which itself is based on the actual events.

I think the film is called 'The Duelists' because Speilberg had already used the title 'The Duel' for his first movie?

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 2:25 p.m. PST

Very interesting read!!

Russ Dunaway

arthur181522 Mar 2021 2:26 p.m. PST

'Based on a true story' in my experience of movies usually means any resemblance to the actual facts is minimal.

USAFpilot22 Mar 2021 2:39 p.m. PST

True or not; an excellent movie.

SHaT198422 Mar 2021 3:14 p.m. PST

Regardless, as we know, of how 'true' to accuracy the movie is, it is the 'chef d'oeuvre' of Scott and his talent at forming and bringing to life characters, both real and imaginary….

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 3:32 p.m. PST

Great story, and a terrific film.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 4:02 p.m. PST

It's a good movie, but as arthur says, "based on a true story" has no meaning in Hollywood, and in itself would not cause me to watch anything.

Fanch du Leon22 Mar 2021 4:27 p.m. PST

Fournier is best known as Fournier Sarloveze. Far from being a fanatical Bonapartist, as the movie suggests it, this former Jacobin (until Robespierre's fall) was arrested for plotting against the first consul, and chose to not join the Grande Armée during the 100 days. Louis XVIII rewarded him, giving him the Order of St Louis medal and the the title of Count Fournier Sarlovèze.

Korvessa22 Mar 2021 9:00 p.m. PST

I liked it because the fencing was decent

Marulaz123 Mar 2021 1:21 a.m. PST

It's a great movie in my opinion. And I love the look of things in it. But like author1815 I don't have much faith in Hollywood's version of a true story.

That being said I watch it frequently on dvd. As mentioned above I was under the impression that Fournier was no Bonapartist.

To answer the poll question, and my low opinion of Hollywood's version of the truth not withstanding, I am more apt to watch the move if it's based on a true story.


von Winterfeldt23 Mar 2021 11:34 p.m. PST

To learn more, I do recommend to listen to this podcast


We're going back to 1977 and Ridley Scott's feature film directorial debut, The Duellists. The movie tells the tale of two soldiers in Napoleon's army who duel with each other for over a decade. Historian and professor at Louisiana State University, Alexander Mikaberidze, returns to help us separate fact from fiction in the movie.

Escapee Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2021 7:59 p.m. PST

I don't expect a movie to provide much more than some exaggerated elements of a true story. "Midway" is a good example. The Duelists has the most amazing cinematography and is a joy to look at. While the characters are compelling, the whole atmosphere makes me feel like I am there.

Gazzola28 Mar 2021 8:57 a.m. PST

I think everyone is forgetting that this is a film made for entertainment for the general public, it was not intended to be a military or historical documentary.

I love when films are made based on the event actually happening, but I do get disappointed when the facts and the actual 'reality' might be incorrect.

Talking of which, it seems, from what I can gather, that Feraud might not have been a Bonapartist after all? So I imagine, if he wasn't in reality, that he was portrayed as one in the film for artistic reasons, in order too parallel Napoleon's final defeat and exile. Not sure how the real Feraud would have felt about this. had he not been a Bonapartist? LOL

On the historical side, until viewing the film I was unaware that duelling was not acceptable between different ranks, so it seems they got some facts right.

Overall, a great film but still a film, not a documentary. So we should just sit back and enjoy it, just as we enjoy films and TV dramas like Sharpe, Waterloo, Hornblower and Master and Commander etc. I'd rather we had more films (albeit more historically accurate) like it, than more Zombie or murder movies! But everyone to their own taste, of course, drama wise.

SHaT198403 Apr 2021 3:02 p.m. PST

I don't know whether the blathering about Hollywood is relevant- Sir Ridley Scott is British, he scouted actors and decided to use 'acceptable' characters; has an infinite feel for the detail to make things real; obviously an uncanny ability to get actors motivated and involved- like Scorcese, Hitchcock, Spielberg, Kubrick, Tarantino, Coppola and maybe Peter Jackson…

Theres a great press conference with Peter Fonda giving his interpretation of the movie and details of his role on Yuutubs somewhere.
Now back to the painting…
cheers d

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2021 9:09 a.m. PST

Peter Fonda?

ConnaughtRanger05 Apr 2021 2:11 p.m. PST

The duel mounted on Chopper Bikes was unfortunately dropped from the final cut……?

SHaT198405 Apr 2021 4:22 p.m. PST

Whooops… brain f%^&*ts- star struck = Keith Carradine =

Richard Alley27 Apr 2021 11:48 p.m. PST

I thought it was based on a book by Conrad?

John the Greater28 Apr 2021 7:36 a.m. PST

And just what is the difference between a movie based on true events and one inspired by true events?

John the OFM29 Apr 2021 9:55 p.m. PST

I never consider movies that are allegedly "based on a true story" to really be based on a true story.
It's simply an excellent fillum.

Tango0116 Jun 2021 10:41 p.m. PST

Like those…


brass110 Jun 2022 7:28 a.m. PST

John the (will never happen ever) Greater has a point.

Desperate Dan18 Jun 2022 1:06 a.m. PST

I believe Ridley Scott is currently in the middle of shooting another Napoleonic movie..I saw the call for extras with lots of early 19th century facial hair 😃

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