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Duel in the Sun

Screening on Film
Directed by King Vidor.
With Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck.
US, 1947, 35mm, color, 136 min.
Print source: Disney

King Vidor’s Duel in the Sun, another epic feature of political valence – many we know with Gregory Peck, including Yellow Sky, Only the Valiant, The Gunfighter, The Big Country, The Stalking Moon – can be read as “two in the one”: setting men good and bad upon a half-breed beauty; conflating drives of hate and desire within another father of oedipal character; bringing forward the bestiality of rape prior to Lang’s Rancho Notorious.  As Jean-Luc Godard makes clear through allusion in Histoire(s) du cinéma the brutally erotic ending of 1946 becomes a paradigm for many films to come. 

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