Duel in the Sun (1946)
Director: King Vidor
My problems with melodrama were rather irritated by this film. It is technically classified as a Western, but the scenery often vies with the overwrought emotions of the actors. The film is comparable to Gone With the Wind; a rather sweeping story, with a young woman torn between two very different men at the centre. The two films also had David O. Selznick as producer, and looked gorgeous in Technicolor. But where Gone With the Wind succeeded, with its acting, Duel in the Sun faltered.
The attractiveness of the images (and people) on screen were the most enjoyable parts of this film. The costumes are lovely, though at times barely managing to cover Jennifer Jones in some scenes. Gregory Peck is the meanest I have seen him, but I could see why Jones' Pearl was attracted to him. Of the actors, Lillian Gish was the best, showing a subtle to her acting that she had in her silent films.
Ultimately I didn't really like this; characters swung from one extreme emotion to another, without any real explanation about how they got there. While Pearl's predicament is hard and she is judged by all for the way she looks, the film handled that plot without any depth. A disappointment, despite the cast.