Monday, February 18, 2013

Photo of the Day

Alan Ladd in action in DUEL OF CHAMPIONS

The title on original movie posters say DUEL OF CHAMPIONS but by today, with so many mistakes made since then, it's now often known as DUEL OF THE CHAMPIONS. Alan Ladd was one of many big Hollywood names who's star was fading and went to Italy to make films, including a PEPLUM like this one. This film has the distinction of having a then famous director attached to it, Terence Young (THUNDERBALL) directing the English version, and with some solid production values but it's often dismissed. 

The grubby looking public domain version available everywhere in North America is barely watchable, which doesn't help its reputation. I've see a beautiful transfer of this and it makes a big difference. The other problem is the running time, which ranges from 85 minutes to 105 minutes, the latter being the rarest and most sought after version. I'm looking for it and if I find it, and let you know what's different from the US copy.

Many also said that Ladd was too old for this kind of film (he was 48 years old) and he does look tired in many scenes. Ladd died just a couple of years after making this.

1 comment:

Steve R. Orsulak said...

This is a good movie and I would love to see 105min. version. Alan Ladd was in my opinion too old to play the hero, maybe he would of been better off playing the father and JS playing the hero along with some other fine young actor. Good story and fine production values, plus a nice musical score. I agree with you 100%. This movie has fine direction also.