Duet for One

Duet for One

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky
Written by Tom Kempinski
Distributed by Golan-Globus Productions Ltd.
Release dates
25 December 1986 [1]
Running time
107 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $8,736 [1]

Duet for One is a 1986 British drama film adapted from the play, a two-hander by Tom Kempinski, about a world-famous concert violinist named Stephanie Anderson who is suddenly struck with multiple sclerosis.[2] It is set in London and directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. The story is based on the life of cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who was diagnosed with MS, and her husband, conductor Daniel Barenboim, and only marginally fictionalized.


Stephanie Anderson (Julie Andrews) is suffering from multiple sclerosis and she is slipping into the depths of depression. She begins seeing a psychiatrist (Max von Sydow) and despises him for not being able to feel her pain. Her conductor husband (Alan Bates) is also drifting away from her, having an affair with his secretary. Stephanie shuts herself away from the world, once locking her door and replaying her old concert tapes, watching despairingly as her on-screen self plays music that she will never be able to create again. She attempts suicide but fails when her maid rescues her. Soon, however, she comes to terms with the facts of her bitter end and realizes that life must go on.

Primary cast


The movie gained positive reviews.[4][5][6]


Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Role : Julie Andrews (Nominated)[7]

Stage play

Duet for One premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1980 with Frances de la Tour and David de Keyser in the leading roles. Kempinski and de la Tour were married at the time, and he wrote the role with her in mind. It had successful runs in the West End and on Broadway.[8] A major revival was staged by the Almeida Theatre in 2009, starring Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman. This revival too was lauded by the critics, and it subsequently transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End.[9]


  1. 1 2 "Alphabetical Movie Index, A-Z". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  2. Christon, Lawrence (1985-05-23). "The Diminuendo Of 'Duet For One' - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  3. Mitchell, Laura R. (2007-08-02). "Clarifying A Few Facts About Ms, 'Duet For One' - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  4. Thomas, Kevin (1986-12-25). "Movie Review : 'Duet For One': A Four-hankie Drama Of The Past - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  5. Maslin, Janet (1987-02-13). "Movie Review - Duet For One - FILM: 'DUET FOR ONE' - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  6. Ebert, Roger (2013-09-20). "Duet for One Movie Review & Film Summary (1987)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  7. Sullivan, Dan (1985-02-23). "Stage Review : A Gripping Duel For Two In 'Duet For One' - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  8. Michael Billington (2009-01-30). "Theatre review: Duet For One / Almeida, London | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-09-28.

External links

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