33 user 16 critic

The Comedians (1967)

Approved | | Drama | 31 October 1967 (USA)
1:19 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A cynical Welsh hotel owner secretly romances a diplomat's wife in Haiti under the violent reign of the despot "Papa Doc" Duvalier.



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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The V.I.P.s (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Fog delays a group of travelers headed for New York. They wait at the V.I.P. lounge of London Airport, each at a moment of crisis in his or her life.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Louis Jourdan
The Sandpiper (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man sells his soul to the devil in order to have the woman he loves.

Directors: Richard Burton, Nevill Coghill
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Andreas Teuber
Boom! (1968)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Explores the confrontation between the woman who has everything, including emptiness, and a penniless poet who has nothing but the ability to fill a wealthy woman's needs.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Noël Coward
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel Petruchio tames his wealthy, shrewish wife, Katharina.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bizarre tale of sex, betrayal, and perversion at a military post.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Brian Keith
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (... See full summary »

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter Ustinov
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Manhattan call girl has a tragic affair with a rich married man.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A penniless woman meets a strange girl who insists she is her long-lost mother, and becomes enmeshed in a web of deception, and perhaps madness, in this powerful psychological thriller.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Mitchum, Mia Farrow
Beau Brummell (1954)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1796, Captain George Brummell of the 10th Royal Hussars Regiment offends the Prince of Wales with his straightforward outspokenness and gets fired from the army but is chosen as the Prince's personal advisor.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Stewart Granger, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Ustinov
Divorce His - Divorce Hers (TV Movie 1973)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story of the breakup of an 18-year marriage, as seen from the points of view of both the husband and the wife.

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Carrie Nye
Night Watch (1973)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Ellen Wheeler, a rich widow, is recovering from a nervous breakdown. One day, while staring out the window, she witnesses a murder. But does anybody believe her?

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Billie Whitelaw


Complete credited cast:
Martha Pineda
Major H. O. Jones
Ambassador Manuel Pineda
Mrs. Smith
Henri Philipot
Petit Pierre
Mrs. Philipot
Dr. Magiot
Douta Seck ...
Captain Concasseur
Marie Therese


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


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




Approved | See all certifications »



| |


| | |

Release Date:

31 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los comediantes  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The seventh of eleven films that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in together. See more »


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 »


Dr. Magiot: I'm worried about young Philipot. I had a message from him today.
Brown: Does he share your faith?
Dr. Magiot: He doesn't read Karl Marx, if that's what you mean. Rebels are not always communists, unless America insists.
See more »


Referenced in Masked and Anonymous (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

overly long story of unrest in Haiti
11 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

31 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
time for a new version nawaf
Ending? juicyfruit326
DVD? leonherm
GLORIA FOSTER rippedbuck
All those common surnames?!? colin-220
Elizabeth Taylor LarrupinLou
Discuss The Comedians (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: