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  • Anton Chekov's The Duel [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] [2011]
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Anton Chekov's The Duel [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] [2011]

4 customer reviews

Price: £10.85
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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Actors: Andrew Scott, Tobias Menzies, Fiona Glascott, Niall Buggy, Michelle Fairley
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004MV47WK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,150 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Edit * From the back cover: In ANTON CHEKHOV'S THE DUEL, escalating animosity between two men with opposing philosophies of life is played out against the backdrop of a decaying seaside resort along the Black Sea coast. Laevsky is a dissipated romantic given to gambling and flirtation. He has run off to the sea with beautiful, emotionally empty, Nadya, another man's wife. Laevsky has now grown tired of her, but two obstacles block his route to escape: he is broke, and he faces the absolute enmity of Von Koren, an arrogant zoologist and former friend who can no longer tolerate Laevsky's irresponsibility. Soon Laevsky confronts Von Koren, accusing him of meddling in his affairs, but Von Koren maneuvers a criticism Laevsky makes of their mutual friend, Dr. Samoylenko, into a challenge to a duel. Utterly discombobulated and honor bound, Laevsky agrees to this absurdity -- a duel it shall be! A duel as comically inadvertent as it is inevitable.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Sampson on 2 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD
This is a little gem of a film: beautifully filmed, beautifully acted, beautifully set (on the Croatian coast) and resonating with Chekhov's customary wisdom and humour. It's up there with 'Big Night', 'Wise Blood', 'The Accidental Tourist' and all those other low-profile cinematic gems. When the right format comes along, seize it. You're in for a treat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sophiejf on 1 May 2013
Format: DVD
I thought that `The Duel' was a fascinating polemic film. It exemplifies the frailties and inconsistencies of human nature and examines the social fabrics that both bind us together and yet eat away at our souls. It's about the problem of fitting our sexual and emotional natures into the social decorum and social structures of the late 19th century. Nature and sexuality seethes underneath the veneer.
I wasn't sure about the Darwinian scientist Von Koren's motivations in insisting upon the duel with Laevsky. Was it some strange Darwinian struggle - survival of the fittest - did he see himself as a superior species who needed to triumph over the weak and depraved Laevsky? Or, was he trying to promote an evolution in Laevsky by putting his life on the line? Was he somehow, in spite of himself, caught up in the emotional and sexual struggles of this couple spilling out into Caucaus society? What was his disgust of Laevsky really about? I'm glad in a way that I don't have the answers to these questions, it made for a highly thought provoking film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arachne202 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD
This is based on a novella of Anton Chekhov's, and I'm really only familiar with his plays, but it still has the elements that make his plays special.

It's late 19th-century Russia, it is a sort of little seaside town on the Black Sea framed in mountains (scenery is gorgeous!), and a dissolute libertine who has taught the local population how to drink and gamble has a problem. He fled here with his mistress to escape her husband. They've been together some years. He's now out of love with her, bored and frustrated and wanting to escape to a big city of culture and ideas. And now a letter has arrived announcing that the husband has very inconveniently died, and everybody's expecting him to make his mistress an honest woman.

It is beautifully shot, and lyrically written, directed and performed. There is a slight tendency for the women to not wear their blouses and appear topless for no apparent reason other than to create extra beauty, but the passions are generally kept quite supressed in a very English way. (I would like to see this again with Russian actors!) Moments of silence and stillness lead into passages of frenetic dialogue that can be quite funny. And then a strong-minded scholar who is in town decides to interfere, and it all climaxes with a duel.

Beautiful film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tau Ceti Four on 11 May 2013
Format: DVD
Magnificent cinematography coupled with Andrew Scott's performance makes this a film well worth seeing. Excellent supporting cast. Very atmospheric film that stays true to the story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Badly directed adaptation of Chekov's novella 27 Jan. 2012
By Russell Fanelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Sadly for me, The Duel is a film which looks good on the screen, but unfortunately is a badly directed adaptation of Anton Chekov's fine novella of the same name. The director, Dover Koshashvili, portrays Laevsky, the central character in the novella, as a nasty, brutish lout whose bizarre behavior is as unaccountable to the other characters in the film as it is to the viewer. He has left St. Petersburg for a small town on the Black Sea with another man's wife. He discovers that he does not love this woman, Nadya, and wants to leave her and return to St. Petersburg. He tries to borrow money from a local doctor, who in turn asks a zoologist, Van Koren, for the rubles. Van Koren hates Laevsky and tries to persuade the doctor to convince Laevsky to take Nadya with him when he leaves. When Laevsky comes to ask for the money, he insults the doctor and Van Koren uses this provocation to challenge Laevsky to fight a duel. Those that wish to see this film can discover the outcome of the duel for themselves.

As noted, director Koshashvili's mishandling and misunderstanding of the main character make it difficult for the viewer to make much sense of the story. All the other characters in the film have the same problem as the viewer; they watch Laevsky's antics with some astonishment, not knowing what to make of his behavior, and yet they tolerate him. Almost as confusing and equally unsatisfying is the treatment of Nadya, the woman who has left her husband for Laevsky. The director has little understanding of what motivates her as she interacts with Laevsky and the other characters in the film. In Chekov's novella, Nadya plays a small, but important role. In Koshasvili's film she is a central character and has many scenes unnecessary to the development of the story.

After viewing the movie I went back to Chekov's novella to determine if there was some confusion in his telling of his story and his treatment of his characters. The story, translated by the reliable Constance Garnett, is crystal clear and beautifully told. Laevsky and Nadya are complicated human beings. Chekov is so skillful and great a writer that we slowly begin to understand these truly unhappy and pitiful people. I recommend the novella, not the film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Great. Faithful Film 1 Jan. 2014
By Professor Goatboy - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"The Duel" is one of the most complex and interesting short stories in Western literature: it takes on class, ethnicity, sexuality, Darwinism, Christianity, and subtle interpersonal topics like "generosity" and "self-interest" in the quietest and most subtle way. I read the story every year: second- best is seeing this film, which gets everything right and even adds just the right visuals to make its point. The acting, direction, and costumes are impeccable -- you will think yourself in late 19th-century Russia for days afterward. My only reservation is with the last 3 minutes, which obscure Chekhov's conclusions. See it now.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Little Known Masterpiece 22 Sept. 2013
By New Yorker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Great acting and direction, wonderful script, beautiful cinematography.
It's basically about two men, one of whom you admire and the other of whom
you dislike intensely. But could they change positions over time? There's
a lot of action, despite the source material; "Chekhov" so often signifies
something like "Nothing happens," but not here. And despite the English accents,
the film has a Russian feeling, perhaps because the director is from Georgia
(the Eastern European one, not the American). And Fiona Glascott has to be one
of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in a movie. A very rich experience.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Lovely, Faithful Interpretation 26 May 2012
By A. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Any adaptation from a much-loved work of literature is bound to disappoint, or puzzle, on certain levels. Some succeed and some fail miserably. This "interpretation" of Chekhov's novella is faithful, esthetic, respectful - perhaps almost too respectful to work as a film on its own, if the viewer has no prior knowledge of Chekhov's often strange and certainly vanished world. I do think this is a successful interpretation of Chekhov's intent, however; it is well-written, well-acted, and immaculately produced, with gorgeous scenery and music, and it renders well the atmosphere of the original. Not a film for anyone expecting "action" from the duel of the title, but certainly rewarding for those who are still looking for a visual poetry from the cinema, or a questioning of the human heart.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Thumbs up 28 Jun. 2012
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Thumbs up. If you're an Andrew Scott fan, you'll like this one. (It's so beyond Scott's other roles and he shows himself as a versatile, quality actor in this one. I'm not familiar with Chekhov at all but doesn't matter here. None of the story is obscure as you'd expect from a classic writer. The story was done more like a stage play but most frequently outdoors. More like a series of vignettes with the same characters. The cast did a good job to go with Scott's exceptional acting. The scenery in The Duel was worth watching if just for the sea scenes. I wanted so much to NE there. The costumes were not overwhelmingly period. I am SO glad they used their own British accents instead of trying to do Russian accents. It's worth watching more than once. (Now that Scott's won the BAFTA award, I'm hoping to see him in more movies!)
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