Betsy Blair, already a founding producer with Garance Films, briefly set about acquiring the rights to the original novel with the intent on making it her directorial debut. She instead sacrificed this ambition for love of director Karl Reisz, marrying and starting a new life with him in London. She abandoned the idea of directing all together. See more »
The movie is a thin, episodic journey through a landscape marked by battles and skirmishes and dangers - it doesn't aim for an epic quality (everything is very sparse) nor to analyze the political or social aspects of the situation (except in a brief appearance by Huston himself as a nobleman who's giving up his rank to join the peasants - he's much more vibrant and interesting than anyone else in the movie): actually it's a bit of a mystery what it DOES aim to do. Judged simply as an evocation of pure time and place, it's a bit too discreet and tidy - hardly the kind of attempt to conjure up messy verisimilitude that failed in "Revolution." Huston is fairly interesting and manages to convey both her noble blood and the idiosyncratic attitude that would have led her on this journey. The film's general discretion works against a compelling depiction of passion, and it ultimately seems to have worked its way merely to a teenage idyll of togetherness, which makes it hard to face up to the imminent tragedy. An odd item in Huston's filmography, sometimes exhibiting the awkwardness of a dubbed Continental item.
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