5.7/10
310
6 user 4 critic

Justine (1969)

R | | Drama | 6 August 1969 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Justine
...
...
Narouz
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Melissa
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Pombal
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Darley
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Nessim
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Cohen
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Toto
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British Ambassador David Mountolive
Elaine Church ...
Liza
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Memlik Pasha
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French Consul General
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Mnemjian
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Colonel Maskelyne
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Storyline

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 Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Alexandria - Perfumed city of carnal delights moral corruption. Justine - pride of Alexandria

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 August 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alexandria  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During shooting, George Cukor told an interviewer that the film would very likely be near to three hours long, but when it finally emerged in cinemas, it was under two hours. Cukor never went into detail about what had been cut, but was always very reserved when discussing the film. See more »

Quotes

Pursewarden: [to Justine] When the hell are you going to stop being an old sin-cushion - into which we all have to thrust our rusty pins!
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Samba Chica
(uncredited)
Music by Herbert W. Spencer
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User Reviews

 
Forty-karat kitsch baroque
17 June 1999 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

George Cukor's adaptation of Lawrence Durrell's ALEXANDRIA QUARTET forms the shape of a dial made of character traits from medieval mystery plays--Fanatic Patriotism, Sexual Cunning, Heartless Bargaining, Furtive Retreat. If Durrell sought to catalogue every human impulse, Cukor had another, lower agenda that serves the material beautifully: shifting these allegorical characters into ripe, lustrous kitsch icons who seem to have time-travelled from a Sternberg movie circa 1931.

The whole picture seems to have undergone a time-machine move from THE SHANGHAI GESTURE to swinging '69. It's Cukor's most vibrant movie visually, and each gorgeously staged and color-patterned shot finds a new way to layer an Islamic tapestry atop psychedelic poster art.

Cukor, brought in as a replacement, brings a vigor to the material you don't associate with him, and at 70, he still knew how to shape the beats of a scene like a Broadway pro. It is reported that he and the star, Anouk Aimee, loathed one another, and in honesty it's easy to see Cukor's frustration: she gives a dismally coy, incommunicative performance as the black widow whose web forms the story. She seems aberrantly at odds with the coolly dignified, taciturn style of the other performances: Dirk Bogarde, as the Graham Greene-ish diplomat with a lurid secret may never have been more creepily sympathetic than he is here. And John Vernon, an actor best known for playing pompous authoritarians in B movies, has such noble composure as Justine's long-suffering husband that he seems to turn into a folk-art engraving of a noble and besieged human soul.


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