The Divers are based on real-life couple Gerald and Sara Murphy, friends and patrons of the famous, including the author of this story, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Poet Archibald Macleish once said of the Murphys that "there was a shine to life wherever they were". See more »
The American flag adorning the child's sand castle has it's stars arranged in the staggered rows of 5 and 6 stars as in the current 50 stars arrangement. An American flag of the 1920's would have had its stars in the 6 row's of 8 arrangement. See more »
Jason Robards who always delivers, just seems wooden and ineffectual as Dick Diver. Jennifer Jones as the ever desirable, but tragic Nicole Diver, just seems unsympathetic, even strident and cruel.
The alcohol flows freely and the jet-set lifestyle is invoked by a humorous Tom Ewell, who sings the movies theme song at the beginning of this disjointed movie. (Tom Ewell is forever planted in my memory as Marilyn Monroes bumbling neighbor in "The Seven Year Itch", or as the silly, clichéd father in "State Fair") That being said, it almost seems as if the writers did not know how to treat the subject of psychoanalysis and mental illness. F Scott Fitgerald and his wife endured tragedy, his wife Zelda Sayre Fitgerald was diagnosed with schizophrenia while still in her 20's. She was delusional at times, and probably never walked around at all times looking like a John Robert Powers model,(as Jones does in this movie).
It was 1962 after all, psychoanalysis was chic and stylish, so this film presents the illness as stylish and merely the effect of being rich and bored on the French Riviera. I wanted to like this film, but it is sorely dated and due for a remake. If nothing else it aptly demonstrates society stigma and misconceptions when portraying mental illness. No wonder there is still so much denial, if this film was considered an acceptable story of a physician and his wife in 1962. Worth seeing as a curiosity. 5/10.
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