The Grand Duel / Il grande duello (Giancarlo Santi, 1972)

(Lee Van Cleef) #241

Great SW with some good location here and there. Lee Van Cleef does his usual job playing the balls-to-the-wall gunslinger type. Also one thing I have to say, the film wouldn’t have been anything special without the fantastic score (by Luis Bacalov), it just wouldn’t be the same. The score adds a lot of dramatic atmosphere, that in the end makes the whole experience so much better. Sometimes I think The Grand Duel isn’t worthy of such an creative score, the music is simply better than the film. The green colored flashback sequence I also like very much, and it kinda reminds of the red colored flashback from Death Rides A Horse.
I give it a 4/5!

(Mickey13) #242

As regards the film, it has its great moments like machine gun massacre for instance.
But I agree. Soundtrack makes this much better.

(sartana1968) #243

someone say at the amazon page that the grand duel BR include the bloody hand scene

(sartana1968) #244

The print used for the transfer is titled “The Big Showdown”. Like many spaghetti westerns The Grand Duel has many titles. I think the first time I saw it on VHS it was called “Storm Rider”.

This version is longer than the previously released Wild East DVD. While I have not done a complete side by side comparison, I did notice a scene on the blu-ray that I have often seen in the trailer, but never in the actual film on DVD; the scene where the dying old man wipes his bloody hand on Adam Saxon. I am sure there are many more.

The presentation on this blu-ray far exceeded my expectations. Admittedly I was worried at first as the background for the blu-ray menu showed an intentionally scratchy washed out print.

The print is pristine and blemish free. It looks to be pulled from the original negative and not a interpositive based version as there are subtle jumps occasionally in between cuts. As an original negative is literally glued together between cuts, over time the print will reveal these “bumps”. Not a huge deal.

Color is solid throughout, and film grain is well defined without being distracting. Details are are very sharp on the extreme close ups.

The audio is nothing spectacular, but is clear. There are some serious sync issues. For example in the scene where LVC spins around and says “I never kill for money”, was out of sync, which was not a problem in the Wild East version. These type of sync issues are probably in 50% of the movie, and seem to occur in large chunks of run time. I know Spaghetti Westerns are known for their dubbing, but the English should match! Bummer.

Aside from the audio sync issues, I feel it is a great disc. I popped in the Wild East DVD afterwards and found it to be unwatchable (but I am a Blu-ray snob).

Full review at

(sartana1968) #245

that’s the review, the audio goes out of sync thats baddddddddddddd :’(

(sartana1968) #246

did anyone know what is the uncut scenes on the blue ray release?

(Keep Your Head Down) #247

Couldn’t agree more…

(Lee Van Cleef) #248

… and now the soundtrack is finally available again; :wink:

(sartana1968) #249

the opening song is the only worth track


I like the first part more than the latter. The beautiful, romantic and at parts mysterious music slowly invites the wiever to the scenery. Scruffy bounty hunters after their prey among great locations - red rocks, torn waystations and inns, a ferry - and an übercool and confident van Cleef spotting them hidden all over the place. Santi seemed to have quite an eye for detail also, something he perhaps learned from the master himself.
Although not ruining anything, the machine gun massacre feels a bit unnecessary. Not to mention the circus stuff, somersaulting etc.
The film is about murdered fathers and hence can´t be too dark, and they should have skipped that completely and made it more somber. And the grand duel itself feels a bit rushed with not enough tension built up, followed by a waaay too happy ending tune.
The director, van Cleef, a very good soundtrack, great flashbacks still place this film above average.

(autephex) #251

Either I’ve never actually seen this one or its been so long that I’ve totally forgotten about it. Its much stranger than I expected. I like the music but its unfortunately not placed very well in many scenes, particularly in the first 20 minutes. The frequent comedic tones really aren’t working for me in this film, and they feel out of place even. Gotta be one of the worst looking horse-dives I’ve seen in a while, followed by a close up on the horse’s ass and a joke about its butthole - what the heck is going on here? Haha… this movie is so weird

The scene with the guy’s bloody hand on the white suite is great, and if that’s cut from previous releases its definitely one that’s worth having included.

Overall the film continues to win me over as it progresses, almost at the end now and its getting really good

Watching the new Mill Creek bluray and it looks mostly great, however they appear to have over used some kind of sharpening filter. In scenes where some people are blurred/out of focus in the background, they look very strange and as if you can see that the filter attempted to sharpen the blur. There’s one very noticeable scene with LVC in the background but still taking up half the screen. Like mentioned above, there’s also some issues with the syncing which are kind of annoying, given that the lips are obviously speaking the same words but they just are not lined up. Not too hard to look past this though. That aside, an excellent looking transfer/release.

(Mickey13) #252

This might be one of the most memorable scenes in this genre IMHO.

(autephex) #253

I would agree with that… if it is a cut scene, this bluray is worth the purchase for that alone

(Tabernas) #254

The Blu Ray Release of The Grand Duel is very sharp and a good purchase.
Depending on the picture quality and the sound it is the best release so far.
But unfortunately it is cut in many scenes.
The German TV Version is longer in many scenes.
E.G. the scene with the cake, bartender and the pistole is cut a little bit on the Blu Ray, so its missing the beginning, when the bartender places the gun beside the cake.
Also scenes with the two men playing with the whiskey glases in the hut are missing and in the scene with the machine gun ambush by Saxon are missing big parts of the massacre. Also Saxon rides in the German version after the firing into the valley and you hear him shooting the crying little child.

Best regards

(Mickey13) #255

So we still have to wait for an uncut version… :frowning:

(Lt. Brannigan) #256

I re-watched this film for the first time the other day and I didn’t remember any of it until Adam Saxon appeared on screen for the first time. But still I found it to immensely entertaining. Of course anything with Lee Van Cleef as a main character is entertaining.

Currently I only have the version that came in the Mill Creek Gunslingers 50 movie pack, but I am definitely going to upgrade.

(Mickey13) #257

Maybe except for God’s Gun… :wink:

(autephex) #258

Careful, partner… fighting words, there…

(Reverend Danite) #259

… and Bad Man’s River :wink:

(tomas) #260

weeell, God’s Gun is a lot of fun actually …