The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Thursday, October 11, 2018

The First Duel


The Duellists was a terrific movie. Based upon a pair of actual antagonists, which Joseph Conrad used as the basis for his short story The Duel (AKA "Point of Honor), it chronicles two French officers during the Napoleonic era who had a beef with each other and fought about 30 duels over a period of about 20 years.

From Wikipedia:

The Conrad short story evidently has its genesis in the real duels that two French officers fought in the Napoleonic era. Their names were Dupont and Fournier-Sarlovèze, whom Conrad disguised slightly, changing Dupont into d'Hubert and Fournier into Feraud.

In The Encyclopedia of the Sword, Nick Evangelista wrote:

As a young officer in Napoleon's Army, Dupont was ordered to deliver a disagreeable message to a fellow officer, Fournier, a rabid duellist. Fournier, taking out his subsequent rage on the messenger, challenged Dupont to a duel. This sparked a succession of encounters, waged with sword and pistol, that spanned decades. The contest was eventually resolved when Dupont was able to overcome Fournier in a pistol duel, forcing him to promise never to bother him again.[2]

They fought their first duel in 1794 from which Fournier demanded a rematch. This rematch resulted in at least another 30 duels over the next 19 years, in which the two officers fought mounted and on foot, with swords, rapiers, and sabres.

The Duellists stands out for the realism of the fighting. Below is a clip of the first duel.

2 comments:

David said...

Absolutely love this movie, one of my favourites. Ridley Scott's best IMO. The details that brings this time alive are amazing, as the stances and methods of sword techniques that was used in this era.

Rick Matz said...

I like period movies myself and this one is outstanding.