6.5/10
1,526
34 user 19 critic

The Comedians (1967)

Approved | | Drama | 31 October 1967 (USA)
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)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The V.I.P.s (1963)
Drama
    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)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
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
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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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
Elephant Walk (1954)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The young bride of a rich planter finds herself the only white woman at Elephant Walk tea plantation, British Ceylon.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Drama
    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
Divorce His - Divorce Hers (TV Movie 1973)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This is a delightful if peculiar story of a day in the life of a small, Welsh fishing village called "Llareggub" (read it backwards). We meet a host of curious characters (and ghosts) ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Sinclair
Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O'Toole
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A graduating poet/teacher falls in love with a Southern woman, and then the Civil War and her past create problems.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint
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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Major H. O. Jones
...
Ambassador Manuel Pineda
...
Smith
...
...
Henri Philipot
...
...
Mrs. Philipot
...
...
Michel
Douta Seck ...
Joseph
...
Captain Concasseur
...
Marie Therese
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

31 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los comediantes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first film where Richard Burton was paid more than his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. Burton got $750,000 while Taylor, the first actor to receive a $1 million fee for a single picture, settled for a mere half-a-million. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Brown: I don't believe in causes.
Dr. Magiot: The role of cynic doesn't really suit you, Brown.
Brown: I don't believe in play-acting either.
Dr. Magiot: You imagine because you've lost one faith, you've lost all? You're wrong, Brown. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose.
Brown: I have no faith in faith.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Papa Is gone, but the dictatorship and poverty live on
28 September 2012 | by See all my reviews

The Comedians one of the many films that starred that legendary screen team of the 60s, husband and wife Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor is set in that troubled stepchild of the western hemisphere Haiti. At the time Haiti was mired in the worst poverty on this side of the globe with the overwhelmingly brutal dictatorship of Papa Doc Duvalier. Duvalier and his family are gone now, but the brutality and poverty remain.

The title from the original Graham Greene novel refers to the various white people here who are very different, but who handle what they see in Haiti by making a lot of bad jokes. Whatever else this is, The Comedians is not a comedy.

Burton and Taylor play the owner of a hotel in Port-Au-Prince and she is the wife of an ambassador from some foreign country unnamed. They're having an affair, she's married to Peter Ustinov. Paul Ford and Lillian Gish are a husband and wife and he once ran for president on the Vegetarian Party ticket. He wants to start a business, a vegetarian resort of sorts. These two are totally clueless, but so are the Haitians they deal with, they actually treat Ford like a big deal.

Alec Guinness plays a part similar to the part David Niven had in Separate Tables, he's an arms dealer who's been dealing with someone now out of favor with the regime. But while at first he's clapped in prison Guinness makes a deal with another faction who think he's a big deal with his heralded background of being a war hero in the Burmese campaign in World War II. If you've seen Separate Tables than you can equate Guinness with Niven.

These name players however take a back seat to some of the black performers in The Comedians. Roscoe Lee Browne, Cicely Tyson, Gloria Foster, Georg Stanford Brown all are different types of Haitians from different levels of society there. But the guy to really watch is Raymond St. Jacques. As a captain in Duvalier's police he is one truly malevolent being. St. Jacques steals all the scenes he's in.

Of course Papa Doc didn't allow The Comedians to be shot in Haiti, but the country of Dahomey one of the new African Republics served well as a place with a poverty level similar to Papa Doc's little satrapy. The Comedians which was not a big hit at the time is maybe more relevant today as we can see things there without the filter of the Cold War between two superpowers.

Liz and Dick did a good one here, one for the ages.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017