In the low key drama Justine, based on the The Alexandra Quartet of novels by Lawrence Durrell, we are in Alexandria, in 1938, where 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.
Critic David Wilson said the movie ‘could well stand as a model of what can happen when Hollywood gets to grips with a celebrated literary property.’ Leslie Halliwell was similarly unimpressed, remarking… ‘The result is like a bad rehearsal for a film, which is not surprising in view of the number of producers variously involved.’
The movie started filming with Joseph Strick as its director. Shortly after production began in Tunis, Strick walked off the set and was replaced by George Cukor.
USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 116 minutes | 1969
Director: George Cukor
Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Original Story: Lawrence Durrell
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Editor: Rita Roland
Music: Jerry Goldsmith
Script: Lawrence B. Marcus
Costume Design: Irene Sharaff
Anouk Aimée as Justine
Dirk Bogarde as Pursewarden
George Baker as British Ambassador David Mountolive
Robert Forster as Narouz
Anna Karina as Melissa
Philippe Noiret as Pombal
Michael York as Darley
John Vernon as Nessim
Jack Albertson as Cohen
Cliff Gorman as Toto
Elaine Church as Liza
Michael Constantine as Memlik Pasha
Marcel Dalio as French Consul General
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