I watched this move months ago now and I still don't know what to make of it. It was too dark to be "lurid, stupid fun" (as one web critic put it on Rotten Tomatoes) and too over-blown and backward to be the ahead of it's time Jeremiad on racism that it aimed to be.
Still, there is much to admire in Duel in the Sun. Gregory Peck gives a first rate performance as the bad son who winds up loving Jennifer Jones to death. For her part, she plays the confused, conflicted "half breed" with a nice mixture of sultry and sweet. The victim of racism, rape and just plain bad luck, she ends up loosing the love of good son, Joseph Cotton and is left to the mercy of the bad one. Turns out mercy just really isn't his style.
The movie comes to a bloody, twisted end in the titular duel, with Jennifer Jones arriving in gauchos on a horse (I love movies where women wear gauchos, which is why I mention it...) to seemingly save Peck who is on the lam for shooting Joseph Cotten (also in the sun, but that is less than a duel). When Peck shows his lovely, unshaven face, she pulls out a rifle and blows him away. He shoots her back because, gosh darn it, that really hurt! They spend the next ten minutes dragging their bloodied half dead bodies toward one another to die in one another's arms. Man, somebody involved in writing this picture must have just gotten out of a really bad relationship. I have a soft spot for fatalistic love stories like this and any movie where a guy is so hot that you stay with him even though you know he will probably be the death of you, is one that I can't resist.
Bridget Jones's Dairy (2001)
7 years ago