22 thoughts on “Trailer Tuesday! The Last Duel (2021)

  1. The Duelists by the way is really enjoyable…saw it Tubi or one of the free streaming services…

    1. Yes–great period feel, and well-acted, as I recall. This flick, though–the term “half-face helmet fuckery” stopped me mid-read; war helmets couldn’t mess around for the sake of style, or the wearer would be dead within minutes. (But it’s the war horses I really worry about in such productions, and I’m not even a horse person.)

  2. I think two screenshots of actress Jodie Comer come from The White Princess, the one with green “headband” and one with silver gown and beachy waves :P

  3. I didn’t hate the trailer (though the mullet….just completing Matt Damon’s new identity as a flyover-state stereotype, IMHO), and honestly, I think this is a really interesting point in history to explore on film. A shame about the costuming choices, but I’m giving it a watch for sure.

  4. I’m not that excited for this, even if I find the subject fascinating. Eric Jager’s book is great, even if imaginative with some details. Froissart, who has the distinction of being one of the few contemporary chroniclers to record the event, has a very interesting take on it. I read it before Jager’s work.

    The mullet thing also baffled me, including the odd defense. There was a highly common hairstyle at the time for men: curled on the sides, parted in the middle, and groomed, forked beard. I’ve never seen a single visual justification for the 90’s hair metal mullet. But, you have to remember those are sadly puff pieces meant to sell a film’s “authenticity”. Remember: when writing about The King (2019), the website Fashionista tried to sell the idea of costume stitching inspired by Tudor architecture as authentic, which doesn’t even begin to make sense. Same with the write-ups lauding the awful armour in Knightfall as the “most authentic costume[s]”.

    The men also sport the “beard with no mustache” look, which doesn’t resemble the period. That’s not to say entirely wrong, since maybe someone wore it like that, but was that a “look” for the late 14th Century? No. You pretty much always see complete beards.

    I don’t share your enthusiasm for some of the men’s costumes. By this point, it was more common for non-arming top wear to cut off at mid-thigh. It was a huge change from earlier in the century. The tailoring was also a much better fitting: the “Pourpoint of Charles de Blois”, even if ~20 years early, is a great example of what tailoring should look like. Again, maybe not wrong, but emblematic of the time? Not really.

    You are right about the helmet: it is historically unjustified and suicidal in its stupidity. Even if complete, it doesn’t resemble helmets of the time. If you look at Ian LaSpina’s Instagram, he has a good take-down of the idea.

    Le Gris (Adam Driver)’s armour is also atrocious. It was apparently inspired by a much later “In Modo Antiquo” image. There’s plenty of evidence for armour at the time.

    I wouldn’t expect authenticity from Ridley Scott. His closest – though not entirely authentic – work is The Duellists (1977), probably precisely because he had the least artistic freedom. He’s not a medievalist; he’s a modern Victorian medievalist, which is quite a ways different.


  5. I have had a review of the Duellists ready for months, but don’t know how to submit it.

  6. I need to see this. Actual need.

    Two of those screen caps are indeed from TWP, so… that will spare us some costume fuckery, yes? xD

  7. I think the doily head and tits out images are from the white princess? So I suppose that’s something

  8. I saw the trailer a few weeks ago and promptly started googling to figure out what it was about (a rare instance when I actually wanted more info/guidance from the trailer; also the different accents threw me; not sure it’s the same trailer as this). There’s definitely some fantasy stuff going on with the costumes… it also looks like Ye Olde Medieval Times Are Dark and Dirty. But I think Damon and Affleck are pretty good writers.. I’d consider watching it, but it mostly made me want to read about the trial. It also caught me out on an assumption I had that trial by combat was much more common much later than it apparently was.

  9. Oh, dear. This story seems intriguing–but Lord, the casting–I don’t know if I’ll be able to get into it due to this cast. And Ben Affleck as a blond–No. Just no.

  10. If you wanted to read about it, here’s Jean Froissart’s original description, translated into modern English:


    Some of the word choice in translation are questionable, including translating the names, but it’s much the same as the translation I read.

    Here’s Eric Jager’s modern take on it, including trail details not included in Froissart, and a good assessment of the controversies:


    That covers most of the main points of his book.

    (Spoilers for history, I guess)

  11. The Duellists is one of my favorite films. Still astonishing to me that Harvey. Keitel learned how to use a sword on set — William Hobbs, the fight choreographer, was a genius. Not sure about “The Last Duel” though.

  12. The two close-up photos of Jodie Comer are from The White Princess, not the trailer of The Last Duel

  13. My thoughts:

    Omg i didn’t know Liv Tyler as Arwen was making an appearance!
    The looped up braids on Jodie Comer are actually a pretty well done medieval recreation, but seen from the sides it’s clearly a Botticelli / da Vinci-inspired style, right?
    Nooooo not the mullet!!! Bad!!!!
    There’s a Saturday Night Live skit with Adam Driver as an overenthusiastic employee at Medieval Times and I can’t unsee that when looking at these images

  14. I saw the Trailer and my first impression was: “Ridley Scott is working again?” And Yes! Although maybe nobody else knows why the producers were looking so long for a director and then decided that Ridley Scott would be the men. It’s all so much looking like “Robin Hood” with all that mad medieval is dirty and fantasy … style. On top of that Matt Damon is looking like a heavy German Youtuber… The main plot to put a duel in the focus of a movie is such a great idea. But then to give the job to Ridley Scott is so …
    I will see it in the cinema nevertheless.

  15. I found the GQ article (https://www.gq.com/story/lets-talk-about-the-hair-in-the-last-duel) and I’d say it’s a classic example of the Bad Re-enactment Costuming argument that goes “X existed in some places and some times during the period; so did Y. Therefore, it’s perfectly legit for me to combine the two, even though I can’t produce a single example of the two being combined; and I don’t have to take the trouble to do either X or Y in a realistically period way.”

    Because while one does sometimes see fringes* on men toward the end of the 14th century, one doesn’t see them with centrally-parted waved long hair; they go with a straight pageboy bob, and from the early 15th also with a bowl cut. And of course the cut across the forehead is strictly sharp and even, with no layering, graduation or chipping – as here.

    As for the costuming: Janty Yates was upfront that for Kingdom of Heaven she had worked not on genuine medieval costume but on 19th-century medievalist art. You can argue with that concept but it worked; it was aesthetically consistent, and because 19th-century medievalist art is actually where the popular idea of medieval clothing comes from, the eye accepts it even if the head actually knows better. But this just looks like a mess.

    This side of the Atlantic, “fringe” is the only word we use for front hair cut short: only horses’ tails get “banged”. It always sounds quite odd to me to hear the word applied to people!

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