Set in the Haiti of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, The Comedians tells the story of a sardonic white hotel owner and his encroaching fatalism as he watches Haiti sink into barbarism. Complications ... See full summary »
Set in the Haiti of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, The Comedians tells the story of a sardonic white hotel owner and his encroaching fatalism as he watches Haiti sink into barbarism. Complications include a friendship with a rebel leader, politically "charged" hotel guests, an affair with the wife of a European ambassador, and the manipulations of a conniving British arms dealer. Written by
Max Chandler <email@example.com>
In the last few shots in the movie, as the Character is leaving the airport, there is initially a departing Vickers VC10 airliner flying overhead from right to left, this changes to a close up, followed by a shot of the same airliner now flying into the distance - unfortunately this is different 4 engine Jetliner, probably a Boeing 707. See more »
Papa Doc allows us to study the theory of communism. If there were no communists at all, what help would he get from the United States?
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Based on the novel by Graham Greene, The Comedians is a look at Haiti that nearly 40 years later remains the same - political unrest, poverty, corruption, and brutality. Set during the time of Papa Doc, the story centers on Richard Burton as the white owner of a hotel left to him by his mother. He is in love with the wife (Elizabeth Taylor) of an ambassador (Peter Ustinov) and has managed to remain apolitical. However, events force him to enter the fray.
The Comedians holds one's interest, although it's on the long side. The cast is remarkable: Burton, Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, Taylor, James Earl Jones, Lillian Gish, Georg Stanford Brown, Roscoe Lee Brown, and, in a small role, Cicely Tyson. Taylor is very beautiful, although her accent is all over the place. She sounds French in the beginning, then English, then like Elizabeth Taylor, and then in the middle of the movie, we find out she's German.
Though Burton went the schlock for cash route in his career, he was a wonderful, handsome actor with a remarkable voice. Towards the end of the film, he has a scene with Guinness that is well worth the wait - two great actors in a subdued and remarkable scene.
The Haitian scenery belies what lies underneath. It's a film that is perhaps more timely today than it was in 1967.
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