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 dissaipated romantic given to gambling and flirtation. He has run off to the sea with the 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 Lavesky makes of their mutual friend. Dr. Samoylenko, into a challenge to a duel. Utterly discombobulated and honor bound, Lavesky agrees to this absurdity-a duel it shall be! A duel as comically inadvertent as it is inevitable.
"The Most Successful Literary adaptation I've seen since ....Lady Chatterley" --J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
"Chekhov never offered a more tempting sample of sexual ripeness and Fiona Glascott, a young Irish actress, bites into the role with conviction". --Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
"At the heart of this film which goes to the heart of Chekhov is deep understanding of human nature, human strength, and human need". --Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle