Duel in the Sun (1946)
Directed by King Vidor, produced and written by David O. Selznick
Peck’s first Western and one of Peck’s first movies – and a controversial one. It received the nickname “Lust in the Dust” and even by today’s standards we see how this steamy Western must have challenged the morals of the day (1946). Several scenes had to be cut as they could not pass the censorship boards. (One wonders what the uncut version would have been like … whew !!) Yet, still Nominated Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jennifer Jones) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Lillian Gish).
Wikipedia: “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 apparently only broke even.