Set in the Haiti of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, The Comedians tells the story of a sardonic Welsh hotel owner and his encroaching fatalism as he watches Haiti sink into barbarism and poverty. ... See full summary »
Set in the Haiti of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, The Comedians tells the story of a sardonic Welsh hotel owner and his encroaching fatalism as he watches Haiti sink into barbarism and poverty. Complications include his inability to sell the hotel so he can leave, a friendship with a rebel leader, some politically "charged" hotel guests, an affair with the German-born wife of a South American ambassador, and the manipulations of a British arms dealer who's in over his head. Written by
Max Chandler <email@example.com>
Average Shot Length = ~11.6 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~11.4 seconds. See more »
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?
See more »
When I bought "The Comedians" in DVD, I had never heard before of that movie, although I am a fan of the cinema of the specific era. Moreover, it surprised me I didn't know anything about a film with such an excellent cast: it isn't easy to find Burton, Taylor, Guinness, Ustinov, Gish and Ford in the same movie. And there was something else: it was based on a novel and written for the screen by an author whose work I admire: Graham Greene. Therefore, I was curious to find out why a movie with so many virtues flopped and was so soon forgotten. After watching it, I understood: "The Comedians" is a movie that was made for the general audience, a film that should be fun, fast and easy to digest, a typical Hollywood epic. However, it contains none of the classic ingredients: a) it isn't fun, it is a serious political drama, with a deeply British, cynical and black humour, b) it is not melodramatic enough and the love story between Burton and Taylor evolves quite unorthodoxically, without any clichés, c) it isn't fast at all, it's almost three hours without impressive action scenes and much - quite sophisticated - dialogue, d) it isn't easy to digest, it is a sad and bitter movie with an ambiguous ending. These are the reasons why "The Comedians" flopped, but they are also the reasons that make the film exceptionally interesting. Set in Tahiti during the dictatorship of Francois Duvalier ("Papa Doc"), an ideal location for Graham Greene's stories, it demonstrates the cruelty of the regime, through the story of 6 Westerners and some locals in the background. It is a big, flawless production providing food for thought accompanied by excellent cinematography, professional directing and a slow, but strong and memorable scenario. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the brutal dictatorship is exceptional, the actors give magnificent performances and it is also one of the few films that end without an answer, without a typical happy or tragic ending. I recommend it to viewers that enjoy films that provide more than a pleasant evening.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?