Sunday, January 2, 2011


King Vidor's Duel in the Sun ('46) is as wildly hysterical as its reputation suggests, overheated and under-nourished and frequently threatening to bring new meaning to the word "melodrama", but surprisingly, it's also shapeless, irritating and fatiguing - a mixing pot of sexual tension, big family politics and steamy, wayward tetchiness.  
Whereas David O. Selznick's Gone With the Wind was a focused, gripping, tempered and selectively boisterous epic, Duel in the Sun, besides being inherently inferior on paper, is a complete misfire for the simple reason that it lacks coherence - it's all sexual fussiness and big melting emotions without cause or concern. [D+]

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