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The Comedians (1967)

Approved | | Drama | 31 October 1967 (USA)
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A cynical Welsh hotel owner secretly romances a diplomat's wife in Haiti under the violent reign of the despot "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Brown
...
Martha Pineda
...
Major H. O. Jones
...
Ambassador Manuel Pineda
...
Smith
...
Mrs. Smith
...
Henri Philipot
...
Petit Pierre
...
Mrs. Philipot
...
Dr. Magiot
...
Michel
Douta Seck ...
Joseph
Raymond St. Jacques ...
Captain Concasseur
...
Marie Therese
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Storyline

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 <netropic@speakeasy.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They lie, they cheat, they destroy...they even try to love.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

31 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los comediantes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To get Elizabeth Taylor to do the film at a "bargain" salary, producer/director Peter Glenville told her that he had offered it to Sophia Loren. She promptly cut her customary $1 million salary in half and signed on. See more »

Goofs

When Brown and Jones wake up in the country graveyard, it is supposed to be morning and their shadows are clear on the large gravestone right behind them where they slept, even though it is bright all around them. But as Brown moves through the graveyard, his shadow splits into multiple shadows at different angles, revealing that there are multiple lights from different angles. And in fact, before long several more realistic sun-cast shadows appear on the ground around him from taller objects, pointing in the opposite direction from the artificial lighting, showing that the sun is actually behind and above them, just past noon, and not low in front of them. See more »

Quotes

Petit Pierre: [to Brown] They are waiting for Major Jones. For some reason they believe that only white men are experts in killing.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Comedians in Africa (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

INTERESTING
16 May 2001 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

Peter Glenville's "The Comedians" is a very difficult film for the average viewer. Based on a Graham Greene novel, it's about the political atmosphere in Haiti while under French rule. It was a box office flop in 1967 and is pretty much forgotten today.

That's sad, because this is an important film. Since the departure of Duvalier, the film has the added historical value it didn't have in 1967. It is another entry in the canon of Taylor-Burton collaborations. It also may be the only film in which Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton all appear in together. Plus, how can you trash a film that flaunts its' Haiti exteriors so joyfully?

The vast Panavision photography will be lost on TV screens, especially in the horrific pan and scan format. The best way to see this film is on a big screen and even that may be impossible these days. The title will confuse many (most will think it's about comedians in a comedy club), but it does have a hidden subtext: these people are "comedians" in a sense. They kid each other endlessly to avoid reality. In that context, "The Comedians" succeeds. It could benefit from some trimming, but that's a small complaint. I can't think of anyone else who would even attempt to make such a challenging film in such a chaotic climate.

***1/2 out of 4 stars


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