“Well, you can’t let the stuff rust away. It’s a crime to waste good weapons.” – Major Jones
Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Jul 2020)
Brief Synopsis – A Welsh hotel owner living in Haiti gets involved with both the local population and some visitors to the island as he tries to find a way to reignite his romance with the wife of the Ugandan Ambassador.
My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about a while back and was quite interested in seeing another joint venture between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
I decided to finally watch it when I saw that it was a romance and would fit in perfectly with this month’s ABC challenge.
It turns out that looks and movie synopsis’ can be deceiving since the romance aspect of this film is more subtle than expected.
It does play a large part in the motivations of the main character so I guess it could be somewhat classified as having important romantic elements in the film.
The cast is superb and that helps keep thing quite intriguing to watch unfold.
The film unfortunately tho has far too many subplots which make things more confusing yet still pays off.
The 150min plus runtime is a bit too much and there are scenes that drag along slightly.
That being said the same long runtime allows for the characters to be fleshed out more thoroughly which allows for a better understanding of everyone’s motives.
Burton does a wonderful job in the lead role and creates a sympathetic character who we can care about.
This is helped by the way that he constantly seems to always try and help everyone during their own ordeals.
His character constantly pines for the character that his wife plays and it all comes across as being both exhausting and charming in the way that he does this.
This helps make it feel even more genuine and realistic.
The supporting cast is also great with Paul Ford, Lillian Gish, Taylor, Peter Ustinov and James Earl Jones in sympathetic characters who we can care about.
Alec Guinness tho steals every scene he is in and his amazing performance constantly makes the viewer question what is perhaps real and what is perhaps an elaborate fabrication in his mind.
This is ultimately a story about how people perceive themselves and those around them.
It also shows how people must learn to adapt to the environment around them.
Bottom Line – Interesting film that has a superb cast yet tries too hard to deal with far too many sub plots. The film is slightly too long at 2 and half hours yet it does allow for them to flesh out many of the characters for the viewer to get a better understanding of who everyone is. Burton is amazing in the lead role and makes us really sympathize with the various plights that his character must endure throughout the film. The way that he pines for Taylor throughout the film is both charming and exhausting at the same time yet still feels quite realistic throughout. The supporting cast features Ford, Gish, Taylor, Ustinov and Jones as very sympathetic characters that we can care about. Guinness tho steals every scene he is in by this amazing performance that constantly makes us wonder what is perhaps real and what is perhaps only fiction of his mind. The story deals with the way people perceive themselves and those around them and show how people need to sometimes adapt their personality to the given situation. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – To get Dame Elizabeth Taylor to do the movie at a “bargain” salary, Producer and Director Peter Glenville told her that he had offered it to Sophia Loren. She promptly cut her customary one million dollar salary in half and signed on. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)