Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA/France, 1967. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Graham Greene, based on his novel. Cinematography by Henri Decae. Produced by Peter Glenville. Music by Laurence Rosenthal. Production Design by Francois de Lamothe. Film Editing by Francoise Javet.
Peter Glenville followed his brilliant Becket with this terrible adaptation of Grahame Greene’s novel. It stars Richard Burton as a hotel owner in Haiti who gets involved with the political turbulence under “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s terrifying military regime on the island. Elizabeth Taylor stars as the wife of a European ambassador (Peter Ustinov) who is having an affair with Burton. Despite the complications from their relationship, Burton’s politically dubious hotel guests and his friendship with a rebel leader, the plot is basically about nothing and the romance isn’t spicy enough to make up for it. The performances from the entire cast are lifeless, including a bored Burton and a useless Taylor (though I’ll give her South African accent credit). An all-star cast appears in support, but the script is so bland that they too eventually blend into the background.
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Lillian Gish)