by guest writer
Duel in the Sun, directed by King Vidor, is most likely a never before done kind of a western. The screenplay was written by none other than David O. Selznick, who was also responsible for the production and co-direction, although uncredited. Will we eventually end up like our parents? This is the path we seem to follow throughout the entire film. As one may guess, we are dealing with the moral deconstruction of the characters, especially Pearl’s (Jennifer Jones). Although the film is shot in a glorious Technicolor, you get the impression that it is in fact a black and white product. This happens due to the ingenious cinematography that captures the light and shadows in a similar way to a black and white movie. The entire photography, whether landscape or studio shots, is spellbounding. The nature seems to participate to the unfolding of the events that will lead up to the epic end. Unforgettable performances by Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish are not to be missed, while greed, love and tension fill up the screen in this unique film noir western.
photo: still from the film Duel in the Sun (1946), The Selznick Studio