Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel play officers in Napoleon's army – D'Hubert and Feraud, respectively – who spend their off-hours challenging each other to bloody duels. This goes on for nearly 16 years, with neither man showing any inclination of calling a truce. The final clash finds the gentlemanly D'Hubert getting the upper hand of the obsessed Feraud – but that's not quite the end of the story.
- " It's an ambitious undertaking for first-time director Ridley Scott, whose burgeoning filmmaking styles are evident even in this early effort. " – Mike Massie
- " Interiors are bathed in the golden light of candlelight and nostalgia, like a period painting in motion, while exteriors are wrapped in fog and mist. It's a production triumph in service of a quietly compelling drama … " – Sean Axmaker
- " … one of the most strikingly pictorial movies ever made. " – Richard T. Jameson