Duel in the Sun (film)

1946 film by King Vidor

Duel in the Sun is a 1946 film about a sexually-charged half-breed woman who becomes the point of contention between two brothers who were Cain and Abel opposites - one brutish and one refined.

Directed by King Vidor. Written by David O. Selznick, Oliver H.P. Garrett, and Ben Hecht, based on the 1944 novel by Niven Busch.
Emotions...As Violent As The Wind-Swept Prairie! taglines

Lewt McCanles Edit

  • Pearl Chavez is my girl, and she'll always be my girl. Just as long as I want her to be. [shoots Sam] Has anybody else around her got any fancy ideas about Pearl Chavez? Well, don't seem to be no takers.
  • [singing, after derailing a train for sport, killing many people] I've been working on the railroad, all the live-long day...

Jubal Crabbe, The Sinkiller Edit

  • You call her a child, Laura Belle? Under that heathen blanket, there's a full-blossomed woman fit for the devil to drive men crazy...Guidance she needs and guidance she'll get or I ain't been the Sin Killer from here to El Paso for thirty years.
  • Oh Lord, look upon this thy creature. She's a weak vessel and a pauper as thou knowest, but she wants to be thy handmaiden. Give her the horse sense not to go wanderin' off in the tulies with worthless cowpokes. Amen.
  • Oh, Lord, have mercy on all men - young and old alike - who gaze upon this, Thy regained servant. Amen.

Narrator Edit

  • Deep among the lonely sun-baked hills of Texas, the great and weatherbeaten stone still stands. The Comanches called it Squaw's Head Rock. Time cannot change its impassive face, nor dim the legend of the wild young lovers who found Heaven and Hell in the shadows of the rock. For when the sun is low and the cold wind blows across the desert, there are those of Indian blood who still speak of Pearl Chavez, the half-breed girl from down along the border, and of the laughing outlaw with whom she here kept a final rendezvous, never to be seen again... And this is what the legend says: A flower, known nowhere else, grows from out of the desperate crags where Pearl vanished. Pearl, who was herself a wild flower, sprung from the hard clay - quick to blossom and early to die.

Other Edit

  • Scott Chavez: [after murdering Pearl's mother and her lover] I plead no mitigating circumstances. They deserved to die, as I deserve to die, for I long since killed a person much superior to either of them: myself. I killed that person the day I gave my family's name to the woman who became my wife. And since I believe the punishment should fit the crime, I suggest that you hang me by the neck until I'm dead.

Dialogue Edit

Pearl: I'll be a good girl, ma'am. I promise I will. I want to be like you. That's what my father wanted.
Laura Belle: I'm afraid that neither your father nor I found happiness child. I hope you will.

Senator: How'd they come to name you Pearl?
Pearl: I don't know, sir.
Senator: They couldn't have had much eye for color, could they? [laughter] They might have better called you Pocahontas or Minnie-ha-ha. Ain't I right?
Pearl: I guess so.

Sin Killer: Pearl? You can be a woman of sin or a woman of God. Which is it to be?
Pearl: I want to be a good girl.
Sin Killer: And remember that the devil is always aimin' to hog-tie ya. Sometimes he comes ghostin' over the plains in the shape of a sneakin' rustler. And sometimes, beggin' your pardon Laura Belle, he stakes out the homes of the worthy and the god-fearin'. Pearl, you're curved in the flesh of temptation. Resistance is gonna be a darn sight harder for you than for females protected by the shape of sows. Yes siree, bob. You gotta sweeten yourself with prayer. Pray till you sweat, and you'll save yourself from eternal hell-fire. You understand me girl?
Pearl: Yes sir.

Jesse: I might as well say it. I loved you. Somehow you touched me.
Pearl: You, you loved me?
Jesse: I thought of what you'd be like when you grew up a little.
Pearl: Oh, I didn't know. Why didn't you tell me, Jesse?
Jesse: I didn't think it would be fair to tell ya. I was a fool. I came to your room to say goodbye, to tell you that someday I'd be back for you. That I'd think about you and I'd write. I'll write to you, Pearl.
Pearl: You will, Jesse, you will?
Jesse: If you need me, I'll come back, senator or no senator.
Pearl: And you'll forget about, about tonight, won't you? You'll forget it?
Jesse: No, I don't think I'll forget. I don't think I'll ever be able to. I shouldn't have told you the way I felt. It wasn't fair. There I go again. Gotta be fair.
Pearl: [sobbing] Trash. Trash, trash, trash, trash, trash.

Pearl: Am I your girl, Lewt?
Lewt: Of course you're my girl.
Pearl: Then we can be married, can't we?
Lewt: Ah, I guess so.
Pearl: Now, if I'm not good enough to marry, I'm not good enough to kiss...It wouldn't do no harm to tell folks, would it?
Lewt: Sure it wouldn't.
Pearl: Can we tell 'em soon, Lewt? Can we tell 'em Saturday at the barbecue?
Lewt: Sure we can. Why not?

Pearl: [after Sam proposes to her] You don't know about me. If you did, you wouldn't ask.
Sam: You mean about Lewt?
Pearl: So you know about me and Lewt too. Yeah, I guess ain't nobody don't know.
Sam: Pearl, I've knocked around plenty.
Pearl: I'm trash I tell ya, trash.
Sam: Don't go telling me that! I'd kill the first man who said anything like that.
Pearl: But I don't love you, Sam. Don't that matter?
Sam: You've only known me a little while, Pearl...

Lewt: Of all the ornery females. One minute you're yammerin' 'cause I don't love ya enough. And when I go out and show ya how much I do, you're wantin' to plug me. You're my girl, honey.
Pearl: I was your girl.
Lewt: Anybody who was my girl is still my girl. That's the kind of guy I am, you know, loyal.
Pearl: Stay back.
Lewt: There ain't nobody gonna take my girl. Nobody. Same little tigercat. You know, just when I figure I'm doin' fine and dandy, I start thinkin' about ya, I start thinkin' about ya and nothin' else is any good...

Lem Smoot: There's a funny glow in the sky tonight, ain't there? I remember once hearing one of them injun legends about how their ancestors lit bonfires in the sky when the chief's son was dying.
Senator McCanles: You see them plains and hills. I was so almighty proud of what I carved out of this country. I figured I was building something. Lewt and Jesse. And what have I got now? Lewt a murderer, an outlaw. And Jesse, Jesse...I'm just a lonely old man who needs a friend. Like you said, Lem.

Laura Belle: I never had the courage to discuss it with you before, but it doesn't matter now. I paid for my mistake. You've hated me all through the years.
Senator: You paid? What about me with these legs? As useless as a hog-tied steer. And all because you couldn't stand to be mistress of the biggest ranch in Texas. And why, huh? Why? I'll tell you why. Nobody needs to tell me who you was running away to that night. Nobody needed to tell me you was runnin' to Chavez.
Laura Belle: It's not true. It's not true. I was running away, but not to Scott. Not to Scott.
Senator: Well, true or not, you left me. And true or not, I went after ya, like any love-sick, half-baked boy...
Laura Belle: I'd give anything, anything to undo it.
Senator: I loved you, Laura Belle. Yes, I loved you. Kept on saying to myself all through the years that I hated you, until finally I did hate ya. In my heart, I knew all the time it wasn't your fault. It was my fault. It was my jealousy made me like I was. Hard and cruel like, till I guess you had to leave me. I never should have gone out after you that night. But when I found out you was gone, I got to thinkin' you was goin' to him and I couldn't stand it. I swore I'd stop ya and bring ya back...

Lewt: I'm riding back to that hitching post and then turning and starting to shoot.
Jesse: It's more than you did for Sam Pierce! Why all the consideration?
Lewt: I just don't want them fancy friends of yours to say you had a brother who shot you down in cold blood.

Lewt: [after shooting each other] You always said you could shoot. I never believed ya.
Pearl: Lewt, I love you. I love you.
Lewt: Oh, don't cry, honey. Don't cry.
Pearl: I had to do it, Lewt. I had to do it.
Lewt: Of course you did. Let me hold ya.
Pearl: Just hold me. Hold me once more.
Lewt: Little bob-cat.
[He dies mid-kiss. She dies shortly thereafter.]

Taglines Edit

  • Emotions...As Violent As The Wind-Swept Prairie!

Cast Edit

External links Edit

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