Duel in the Sun (1946)

Rated NR 138 minutes

In David O. Selznick's Duel in the Sun, Jennifer Jones stars as Pearl Chavez, whom everyone has tagged as a bad girl foredoomed to an unhappy end. She is taken into the home of wealthy, greedy rancher McCanles (Lionel Barrymore) and his kindly wife Laura Belle (Lillian Gish), who'd once been the sweetheart of Pearl's recently executed father (Herbert Marshall). Almost immediately, Pearl becomes the object of an emotional tug-of-war between McCanles' virtuous son Jesse (Joseph Cotten) and wicked ne'er-do-well offspring Lewt (Gregory Peck). After killing a man (Charles Bickford) who'd tried proposing to Pearl, Lewt becomes a fugitive, secretly working to undermine the railroad that threatens to cut across McCanles' land. The level-headed Jesse tries to negotiate with the railroad men, and as a result is ordered from the ranch by McCanles. While all this is going on, Pearl, sick to death of being told what a bad job she is, decides to become the Jezebel everyone assumes she is. Duel in the Sun was based on the novel by Niven Busch, who'd written the work hoping that his wife Teresa Wright would play Pearl--but that was before Selznick fell head over heels in love with Jennifer Jones.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Film Credits

Director: King Vidor

Writer: Niven Busch, Oliver H.P. Garrett and David O. Selznick

Cast: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore, Herbert Marshall, Lillian Gish, Walter Huston, Charles Bickford, Harry Carey and Joan Tetzel

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