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Duel at Diablo (1965)

James Garner , Sidney Poitier , Ralph Nelson  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Garner, Sidney Poitier, Bibi Andersson, Dennis Weaver, Bill Travers
  • Directors: Ralph Nelson
  • Writers: Marvin H. Albert, Michael M. Grilikhes
  • Producers: James Garner, Ralph Nelson, Fred Engel
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008PC19
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,173 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Duel at Diablo" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"An exciting, absorbing drama" (The Hollywood Reporter) that "never lets up in action" (The Film Daily), Duel at Diablo stars James Garner, Sidney Poitier, Bill Travers, Bibi Andersson and Dennis Weaver in a tale that "will grip you" (The New York Times) from beginning to end! Frontier scout Jess Remsberg (Garner) bravely leads a wagon train through hostile territory to Fort Conchos. But underneath his valor, he has an ulterior motive: to settle a score with a man whom he believes killed his wife. When he arrives at the fort, Jess not only learns the shocking truth about the killer, but also that the wagon train has come under Apache attack... leaving Jess their only hope for survival.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, offbeat Western. A must for fans of the genre December 1, 1999
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
One of the most unusual westerns ever filmed, Duel at Diablo deals with a number of clicheish situations in a refreshing, fascinating manner. More engrossing than entertaining, the intense emotion and delicately intertwined subplots are almost hypnotically effective in holding the viewer's attention. James Garner, Sidney Poitier and Dennis Weaver headline an excellent cast. Beautiful locations and an eerie soundtrack add to the overall power of the production. This film is probably too violent for many young viewers, but will prove a most satisfying experience for western buffs who prefer gritty realism to the more common shlocky horse operas. Duel at Diablo will never be found in a listing of top westerns, but it belongs there. In fact, it holds its own in any movie library, regardless of genre.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Western that passed the test of time August 11, 2006
By Bojac6
I grew up watching westerns on VHS, but I felt I had out grown them when I reached High School. The few I still liked were either more modern or ones that I had seen at just the right age for me to accept them as part of the natural order of things and that was that (Same reason Errol Flynn is the only Robin Hood and Tyrone Power is Zorro, anybody else is just an actor). Other westerns I watched seemed silly and cheesy, simplistic stories of good and bad with no depth. It was around this time when I saw the Big Country and Duel at Diablo for the first time. In these films, I saw for the first time westerns that were more than cowboys and Indians.

Duel at Diablo has many plot lines, from the common Calvary vs. Indians to James Garner seeking vengeance for his Indian wife. But the film is really about how people survived in the west. Nobody in the film is a "bad guy," although some are more morally reprehensible than others. Everyone just wants to get by with their life, to live with the freedom that was the dream of the American West. Unfortunately, as history taught us, everybody's dream conflicted. The film does not pull punches when it comes to showing how both sides felt they had a legitimate claim to the land but also that members of each side understood the other's claim.

Finally, to address another reviewer who pointed out what he considered major and blatant flaws in the movie. The first is the soundtrack, which I enjoyed and I wish I could find a recording. It is a bit bouncy at times, but not in happy-go-lucky way. It seemed to me to more exemplify that through all the sorrow and hardship, people did find joy in their lives, that they believed all the work was worth it to live as free men.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting western June 21, 2003
Duel at Diablo is an excellent western that deals with more than just the battles between the cavalry and Indians, but also the tensions among the groups. The movie follows a supply train through the desert as they are harassed by an Apache chief, Chata, and his band of renegades. Trapped in the desert without any water, the supply train must fight their way out. There is plenty of good action here as well as very good characters. The movie deals with racism throughout since one of the main characters was kidnapped by Apaches and forced to live with them. When she escapes from the village, the people at Fort Creel look down upon her with disgust.
James Garner stars as Jess Remsberg, the army scout who is also trying to track down the killer of his Indian wife. His role is very good and also different from what his fans might be expecting of him. Sidney Poitier plays Toller, the ex-sergeant who now accompanies the wagon train to break in their new horses for him. I hadn't seen Poitier in a western, but he is very good in this role alongside Garner. Dennis Weaver and Bibi Anderson star as the Granges. Anderson's character was abducted by Apaches and escapes but now wants to go back and live among them. Weaver's Will Grange is a rascist and very dislikable. Bill Travers plays Lt. Scotty McCallister, the leader of the wagon train who is desperately trying to get a promotion. The DVD offers widescreen presentation that looks very good and also a theatrical trailer. This is not your typical western but it is still very enjoyable. Check it out if you haven't seen it before!
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good western film with a few flaws January 7, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love a good western, and Duel at Diablo certainly contained enough elements of the classic western movie to keep me interested throughout it's 103 minute running time, but some flaws seemed a bit obvious.
The movie centers on a plot to deliver a cache of ammunition from one fort to another through a harsh and foreboding desert land. The troops are green and inexperienced, and the desert terrain is the least of their worries as a local Apache tribe has decided to mount a last stand against the injustices heaped upon them and attack the convey and steal the munitions in an effort to free themselves and their spirits from the poor treatment and paltry reservation land given to them by the uncaring government.
James Garner plays Jess Remsburg, an experienced scout who has a personal interest in following the convey to their destination as he believes the murderer of his Native American wife is there. Sidney Poitier is also along for the ride, as Toller, an ex-army man turned horse dealer that supplies the cavalry with raw mustangs. Turns out he won't get paid for his recent delivery of horses as they are not saddle broken and he must ride with the convey and tame the horses along the way. The other recognizable actor is Dennis Weaver, who plays Willard Grange, a merchant who must get a load of supplies to the fort, and wheedles his way to tag along with the cavalry, despite protests from the lieutenant in charge, as the lieutenant thinks speed will be of the utmost importance, with the Apache tribe on the warpath and the lack of experience in his troops. Also, there is yet another interesting subplot involving Grange and his wife, Ellen, played by Bibi Andersson.
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