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Dual in the Sun..Guilty Pleasure


Melz
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I agree with Robert, that Dual in the Sun is a guilty pleasure. It was really a vanity project but the central characters were so ugly and unappealing, that it was hard for the audience to relate to them. Jennifer Jones was sweet in Song of Bernadette and may have done some of her best work in Cluny Brown. It is a delightful film which I recommend. She was the perfect foil for a rather mischievous Charles Boyer. Dual ?, has just about every important character actor in Hollywood and it?s a pleasure to watch them work. It was also nice to see Lionel Barrymore in color, as it was hard to appreciate those amazing blue eyes in B&W. Robert mentioned the voice of Orson Welles in the film but the opening narration is not him. My best guess is Reed Hadley, who was a B actor with a great voice, who often did voice-over. It?s a rather tedious film and Peck is hard to accept as a joyful young killer. I would rather watch, The Big Country, which is everything that Dual in the Sun, might have been but fails. In Big Country, Peck is playing the perfect role for his persona. The film also has one of the great western scores. Dual in the Sun, is a guilty pleasure but not a great film.

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A lot of people like to knock Duel in the Sun because it is so over the top and a blatant attempt by producer David O. Selznick to make a sexy western. (Or maybe they think it's just not a particularly good sexy western and the lead characters are more than a little nasty).

 

While the darned thing goes on too long, the film's virtues are considerable, starting off with great colour cinematography by Lee Garmes, Ray Rennahan and Hal Rosson and a rousing, at times passionate, musical score by Dimitri Tiomkin.

 

While there has been ample criticism of the performances of Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck, the supporting cast is impressive and in rare form. Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Herbert Marshall and Walter Huston all give solid accounts of themselves, as far as I'm concerned. I particularly enjoy Huston's larger than life portrayal of a preacher who slings a mean gun. There is clearly a Reverend Davidson gleam in his eye when he asks Pearl Chavez to fall to her knees in prayer.

 

And speaking of Pearl, I rather enjoy watching Jones' performance, though I can't say that I take her entirely seriously. As for the film's famous climax in which the two lovers shoot each other and die in each other's arms, I have to say that I appreciate the courage of filmmakers to attempt such an over the top ending. Certainly Tiomkin's music and the beautiful photography bring an appeal to the sequence even if the viewer can't quite take the dramatics all that seriously.

 

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Visually, this is often a stunning production.

 

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And what a cast:

 

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Okay, Gregory Peck's miscast. It's too bad the film couldn't have had someone like Robert Mitchum as Lewt instead.

 

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But then there's Walter Huston's fire and brimstone performance as the preacher, worth the price of admission all by itself. (Wish he was in the film more, though).

 

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Pearl Chavez: for better or worse, Jennifer Jones at her most tempestuous and sexy.

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6, you know I love *The Big Country* , I love everything about that film. The music score is impossibly great, one of the finest ever in a film, imo. I love the casting, I love the story, just think it's a teriffic western. I thought Burl Ives was fantastic and so convincing as the man stradled with lousey sons Chuck as the bullying, whimpering son, Carroll Baker as the spoiled brat, Jean Simmons as the beautiful peacemaker, Charles Coburn as the stubborn father. Good role for Gregory Peck as the ethical man of his word, even Heston gave a good performance.

 

Now with all that said, I like the absurd *Dual In The Sun* . As Tom wrote, it's over the top, but the photography was beautiful, the supporting cast was great. The film draws you in even with those snarling looks Jennifer gives. I have to admit *Dual In the Sun* is a guilty pleasure film for me.

 

Glad Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck got to do *The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit* together years later. Jennifer got to hear Gregory say "I worship you" , something Pearl would have given anything to hear :)

 

Edited by: lavenderblue19 on Sep 27, 2013 5:40 AM

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Thank You Very Much, Tom. that's high praise from you, since I respect your opinion so much (as you already know) . Glad you Love *The Big Country* also. It's a favorite of mine. Just the opening alone, is so rousing, what follows never disappoints. You and me and mr.6 are all in agreement on this teriffic film.

 

btw, I mentioned this months ago to you, if you remember, I would LOVE to see you submit a video and be that TCM fan programmer ;)

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When you say Peck was miscast, what does that really mean? For example, take Bogie and Sabrina. I believe we agree Bogie was miscast because he was too old for the part and just not good looking enough for a young beauty like Audrey to fall in love with (especially with Holden waiting in the wings).

 

But none of that applies to Peck and the role in Duel in the Sun. You also mention Mitchum. Are you saying that Mitchum was a much better actor than Peck and therefore would of done a better job?

 

Shouldn't an actor be able to play both villains and heroes? Cagney, Bogie and E.G. Robinson were able to. Mitchum played both type of roles. So are you saying Peck's limitations as an actor makes him less than credible as a villain in Duel?

 

I don't know how to put this, but to me Peck's face is so kind and gentle looking that I find it hard to see him as the villain. Is that the main reason he couldn't pull it off as well as someone like Mitchum?

 

(sorry for all the questions!).

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*Dargo wrote about The Big Country: it's still a mystery to me too why Wyler's film often gets short-shrift)*

 

My theory on that is because Wyler's film has a pacifist for its lead character and the film makes a point of preaching against violence. Western fans, for the most part, want to see shoot em ups and some cowpoke re-arrange another one's dental work. And a guy who'd rather not have a fist fight or shoot someone is just not the kind of character that most western fans would appear to want to watch.

 

Besides, just what kind of western director is William Wyler, anyway, they would probably ask. He is not a person associated with the genre.

 

It seems to me that a lot of westerns fans, not surprisingly, like to watch their heroes be macho. There's a lot of macho strut in the Clint Eastwood westerns, for example, or The Magnificent Seven, or watching Duke Wayne.

 

Charlton Heston's character is pretty darned macho in The Big Country. So he gets into a fist fight that's a draw with Peck and Peck asks him what they just proved. I don't think a lot of westerns buffs want a fight to end that way. They prefer to see a few teeth dangling and some one looking triumphant.

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James, I believe that Peck (an actor I like very much when I think he's in a part that's comfortable for him, such as The Big Country) has always had such a screen persona associated with honesty and personal integrity that it's difficult to believe in him as a lusty scoundrel in the role as Lewt. Perhaps it is also a limitation in him as an actor.

 

Mitchum, not unlike, say Sean Connery, always had an element of danger about him. Even when he played a good guy in the movies there was always to me a sense that you didn't want to mess around with this dude too much. That there could be dark streaks of meanness there.

 

And, let's face it, I rather suspect that women are excited by that "bad boy" quality about Mitchum in a manner that they never would be with good ol' straight shooter Gregory Peck.

 

And, yes, I guess you're right. There is a gentle and kind look about Peck's face, certainly as a young man. (Duel in the Sun was made just three years after he had played a priest). Difficult to believe that that face could be the face of a scoundrel in the movies (though in real life that that could indeed be the case).

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>My theory on that is because Wyler's film has a pacifist for its lead character and the film makes a point of preaching against violence. Western fans, for the most part, want to see shoot em ups

 

Tom, I think you are right.

 

There is too much in this film that is just odd and non-Western. Too much that is sad and makes me feel bad.

 

It is just an odd film. I don't understand what Selznick saw in the story or the script that made him want to produce it.

 

------------------------

 

PS. Nevermind. Wrong film. :)

 

Edited by: FredCDobbs on Sep 26, 2013 8:51 PM

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*Dargo wrote: you have pretty much expertly written the thoughts I've always had of "Duel"....especially about the outstanding cinematography.*

 

Dargo, as a resident of Sedona, this film must make you feel right at home at times.

 

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Selznick Reel Life

 

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!

 

Sedona Real Life

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That was Dorothy McGuire in GA with Peck, released within a year of DITS. Peck and Jones were in THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT.

 

Guilty pleasure is agreat way of describing this over the top western, with excellent cinematography, rousing score, and great supporting cast.

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Since DITS started filming in 1945, it had been a year at most since Peck played a priest in KEYS OF THE KINGDOM, released in late 1944. While an about face from his earlier roles, it was still early in his career that Selznick saw nothing wrong with casting him as Lewt.

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Funny that I was just in the thread Casting Against Type and someone posted this as it relates to the theme:

 

I can't help thinking of Gregory Peck in The Boys of Brazil. Mr. Peck rarely played evil characters, but this was a big exception, and he was wonderful in it.

 

I think by the time Peck was in The Boys of Brazil his face had matured as well as his acting chops and he was able to pull off an evil character.

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Boys from Brazil is not my idea of Gregory Peck at his best. But he must have loved the challenge as an actor.

 

And I certainly agree with you that Peck's matured, lined face and that absence of youthful beauty and earnestness from his early years helped him to pull off a villainy performance more successfully in the late 1970s than he had in Duel in the Sun.

 

He was also, of course, a far more seasoned actor, and there was a harsh ruthlessness to his performance absent when he was playing charming Lewt.

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