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Duelle (1976)

Duelle (une quarantaine) (original title)
The Queen of the Night battles the Queen of the Sun over a magical diamond that will allow the winner to remain on Earth, specifically in modern day Paris.


Jacques Rivette


Eduardo de Gregorio (scenario), Marilù Parolini (scenario) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview:
Juliet Berto ... Leni
Bulle Ogier ... Viva
Jean Babilée Jean Babilée ... Pierrot
Hermine Karagheuz Hermine Karagheuz ... Lucie
Nicole Garcia ... Jeanne / Elsa
Claire Nadeau Claire Nadeau ... Sylvia Stern
Elisabeth Wiener ... Allié de Viva
Jean Wiener Jean Wiener ... Au piano
André Dauchy André Dauchy ... A l'accordéon
Roger Fugen Roger Fugen ... A la batterie
Learn more

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The Queen of the Night battles the Queen of the Sun over a magical diamond that will allow the winner to remain on Earth, specifically in modern day Paris.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


At approximately 51 mins, as Viva exits behind a curtain, the reflection of a crew member's arm appears in the mirror behind Elsa. See more »


Leni: Oh, you! Daughter of the sun, who strikes from afar! I challenge you.
Viva: Oh, you! Daughter of the moon, destroyer of cities! I challenge you.
[in turns]
Viva: At the first full moon of Spring...
Leni: in the gloaming...
Viva: between night and day, in the Cloud Garden...
Leni: beneath the Tree of the North-West Winds, I will wait for you.
Viva: I... will wait for you.
See more »

User Reviews

"Dreams are the aquarium of the night."
3 March 2019 | by morrison-dylan-fanSee all my reviews

Having seen at least one title by most of the other major directors of the French New Wave (FNW) movement, I was excited to find that Arrow has put out a Jacques Rivette, which I got for the upcoming ICM French Challenge.Just before the challenge kicked off,I got a really nasty flu. Wanting join in,I decided the film with the shortest run-time would be my first Rivette.

View on the film:

Complimented by interesting interviews from two members of the cast, Arrow present a splendid transfer, with the layered soundtrack being clean and the picture sharp, whilst retaining a film grain quality.

Working more from a script than he had done before, (lines of dialogue would be thrown out to the cast just before shooting began) the screenplay by co-writer/(with Eduardo de Gregorio and the directors wife Marilu Parolini ) directing auteur Jacques Rivette fittingly has a free-flowing rhythm that gives it the feeling of unfolding in the moment, as The Queen of the Night fights The Queen of the Sun for a diamond to stay on earth, which shines them into slithering round the deserted night life of Paris. Shattering whatever little reality there was, the writers keep the thread of the diamond fight as a solid line for the flights of fantasy to leap from.

Placing the two Queens (brilliantly played by Juliet Berto and Bulle Ogier) in a fight to stay on earth for more than 40 days a years, director Rivette & cinematographer William Lubtchansky take the starkness of the French New Wave (FNW) and shade it onto the Sci-Fi and Fantasy in the streets of Paris being laid to a minimalist appearance, as the Queens fight against a backdrop of lone, scattered figures round the streets of Paris. Kept backed by a nicely underscored improvised piano score from André Dauchy and Roger Fugen, Rivette blurs the lines between fantasy and reality with rough-edge FNW hand-held tracking shots following each grasp for the diamond. Symbolically breaking a mirror 70 mins in, Rivette superbly goes all-out for a surrealist stylisation final. Lighting the queens in shimmering colours, Rivette creates an incredibly eerie impression of the diamond fight taking place in reflections of a lost in time and dissociate society, as the Queens face their duelle.

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Release Date:

15 September 1976 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Duelle See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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