Duel in the Sun is a Technicolor 1946 Western film directed by King Vidor, produced and written by David O. Selznick, which tells the story of a Mestiza (half-Native American) girl who goes to live with her caucasian relatives, becoming involved in prejudice and forbidden love. The movie stars Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore.
Selznick had high hopes that Duel in the Sun would surpass his success with Gone with the Wind. The film received poor reviews, however, and was highly controversial due to its sexual content and to Selznick's real-life relationship with Jones, which broke up both of their marriages. Despite the bad press, it was a box-office success for Selznick, although not a second Gone with the Wind. It earned $11,300,000 in rentals in North America during its initial release and much more overseas and in the 1954 re-release.
Because of the film's huge production costs (rumored to be over $6,000,000), its $2,000,000 advertising campaign (unheard of at the time) and Selznick's costly distribution tactics, the film only broke even.
Martin Scorsese has stated to James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio that this was the first film he saw and holds it in high regard.