Duel at Diablo (Ralph Nelson, 1966)

There are two “cavalry vs Indian” westerns that I consider the best of the genre. The first is Ulzana’s Raid and the second one is Duel at Diablo. Duel at Diablo is one of the most action packed westerns I have ever watched. It has a tremendous cast and a terrific soundtrack, as well. Any other fans out there?

It’s an ok western by a not-so-good director with thematic ambitions. 5 maybe 6/10

6+ or 7- in my book, very decent action western, confused script:


I suppose the film is a more of a bridge between the revisionist and traditional cavalry & Indian westerns. I don’t think the script was too confused. It worked well in my opinion. There are some continuity errors when it comes to the amount of troopers being killed but I have no complaints about the script or the characters. It’s much better than Ralph Nelson’s other western, Soldier Blue.

I just bought this DVD on Amazon.com. It’s a three-pack including Man of the West, Hour of the Gun and Duel at Diablo. I haven’t seen Duel yet. Anyone here have an opinion on it before I watch? It received good reviews but I’m curious what we think of it on the board.

Why not watch it before knowing anything about it, when you already bought it?

First watch then talk …

Yes do enjoy this one !

Probably the best of Nelson’s westerns and quite enjoyable for me as well.

Interesting movie. It held my interest throughout. Dennis Weaver was his perfectly typecast self as the villain as he played in other westerns at the time. I thought the soundtrack might have been a little too jazzy for a western. Neal Hefti was a jazz musician after all and you can hear his musical style come through here. I liked the scenery. One of the reasons I wanted to see it was because I recently visited Utah, including Kanab and Fredonia and I loved it out there. Those sandstone canyons are beautiful. When I read that Duel at Diablo was filmed there I wanted to see if I recognized any locales. It definitely brought back some memories.

One of the first soundtrack L.P’s I ever purchased.

I didn’t really think of Dennis Weaver’s character as a villain. I don’t think the soundtrack is too jazzy, either. It’s definitely one of my favourite scores.

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I just re-watched it recently. Seems like I forgot about Dennis Weaver’s character. I suppose he is a villain after all but I won’t spoil why.

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