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In Alexandria, in 1938, Darley, a young British schoolmaster and poet, makes friends through Pursewarden, the British consular officer, with Justine, the beautiful and mysterious wife of a Coptic banker. He observes the affairs of her heart and incidentally discovers that she is involved in a plot against the British, meant to arm the Jewish underground in Palestine. The plot finally fails, Justine is sent to jail and Darley decides to return to England. Written by
This is either a very good "bad" movie, or a bad "good" movie. Either way. Cukor's master touch is still visible even though he phoned this one in. Fine cinematography. As with so many films, the actors gave first rate performances but it was not enough. It's a cliche but it's true. The problem is with the story, or more specifically, the screenplay. We see love affairs and parties and characters appearing and disappearing all for no apparent reason. Another failure of trying to squeeze a complex novel into a two hour drama. By the time the secrets are revealed at the end, we really don't care. It is no reward for our having sat through 110 minutes of mish-mash-mush. To pawn this off as a "character study" is a poor excuse for a poor movie.
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