The Grand Duel An Underestimated, Well Written Spaghetti Western

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

The Grand Duel is an interesting movie.  The story behind the movie doesn’t make it an instant grab your attention piece.  But given the chance, it turns out to be a very well written story that will keep audiences watching just to find out the mystery of who really killed The Patriarch.

The story behind The Grand Duel starts off somewhat slow.  Audiences are introduced to the story’s main characters early on.  But the story offers very little the way of back story.  Thankfully, the story doesn’t take long to pick up and finally establish the plot.  The plot turns out to be very simple.  It’s one that’s been countless times since and probably before.  Philipp Wermeer is being taken in for the accusation of having killed “The Patriarch” of the Saxon family.  He’s brought into a small town where he meets the ex-sheriff Clayton.  Clayton actually helps Wermeer escape because he knows who really killed The Patriarch.  Yes, it’s the classic innocent man accused of a crime story.

The story of an innocent man wrongly accused had likely been done many times before this movie, and has been done just as many times since.  So what is it that makes The Grand Duel stand out in the crowd of such movies?  What makes it stand out is that writer Ernesto Gastaldi somehow managed to fuse together the Western and Crime Drama genres to make a movie that will entertain both the action movie fans and those into mystery movies.  The gunfights spread throughout the movie (including the final shootout) are more than enough to satiate the appetite of any action movie buff.  While Wermeer’s journey to discover who had really killed the Patriarch and let him take the fall will appeal to anyone that’s a fan of mysteries and crime dramas.

The writing behind The Grand Duel is a big part of the movie’s success, despite its slow start.  Thanks to the writing, the movie clocks in at just over an hour and a half.  It wastes very little time on unnecessary extraneous material, opting instead to stay right on track with the story.  Eventually, the story leads up to a twist that seems predictable only in hindsight.  That alone is a sign of good writing.  And that writing, mixed with a general Western backdrop is enough to bring in even more audiences.  It will bring in fans of the Western genre, even though the story just happens to be set in the old west.  It manages to seamlessly mix the Western, the Action, and the Crime Drama for a piece that while it may not be the most memorable classic flick, it is one that any true movie buff should see at least once.

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