Good Grief

I now see why I had never heard of this fiasco until a recent Turner exhumation. The IMDB comment that the politics of Palestine/Israel are
explained is absurd. It is stunning that the various boldface names got roped into such a pinheaded display.


*** May Contain Some Spoilers***

I, too, just viewed this film on TMC, but no, I did not find this film nearly as bad as many others have. In general it is easy to follow the plot if one pays attention. The two things that I did find confusing were:

1) The lack of a clear timeline. It is not evident over what timeframe the various episodes occur. Similar films of this era often used titles in order to present the time and date and place in an obvious manner, e.g., "Corsica, Wednesday 24 May, 10:00 a.m." The lack of a clear timeframe for the action was especially evident when Patrice (the revolutionary professor played by Georges Beller) is released from prison and claims that he had been incarcerated for several weeks. To the viewer it did not seem to have been so long, so one is left wondering if he were exaggerating, or if the timeframe of the script were faulty.

2) When Larry Martin (played by Peter O'Toole) goes to meet Sloat disguised as Patrice (played by Georges Beller) the viewer is confused as to whether it is actually Martin or Patrice who is on the journey. The viewer is told that Martin is disguised as Patrice, but the viewer doubts this because the man whom he sees on the screen is clearly the actor Georges Beller. This comes about as result of the director actually filming the actor Georges Beller instead of filming Peter O'Toole in a disguise. A good example of a director being too clever for his film's own good!

All in all quite different from James Bond films as the back-story is well-grounded in reality and does not refer to fictional nations or organizations.

One lingering question:
When the IDF rappels into the cave complex to seize Sloat, what is the fate of the several terrorists making prayer to Allah? The movie does not even give us one clue.



I watched this on dvd last night and didn't think it was as horrible as I've heard. It was a little slow, but kind of interesting if you pay attention to detail. I hated the last few minutes, I guess there was a reason but I thought it was stupid. All in all, I thought it was a worth adding to my O'Toole collection if just to say I have it.


Agree. Couldn't get through it


I haven't seen the film, but I've read two Preminger biographies, and this was his most troubled production. It was also his penultimate film, and he was getting tired and old around this time.

The script (by Otto's son Erik) was constantly being rewritten as shooting was going on, resulting in sloppiness and confusion. Robert Mitchum got fired (or quit) early on, forcing Preminger to recast his role with Peter O'Toole. O'Toole also had massive stomach pains (possibly from working for Preminger, who was a volcano on the set at times), and had to rest for 10 days. The film was very draining for everyone involved, and it is generally considered Preminger's worst film.

He only directed one film after this, The Human Factor, which got decent reviews and revived his standing slightly.


Thanks for the background. Watching this film, it's pretty apparent that the production of this film was troubled, because the final product is choppy and disjointed. It also appears that they ran out of film or energy before they could complete the movie.

It's not a total waste of time considering the major talent involved – particularly Isabelle Huppert and Kim Cattrall very early in their careers – but for a Preminger film this is very disappointing. 6/10 stars from me.