The despair of people living under a despot may, indeed, be a sort of living death. Producer-director Peter Glenville’s pic, scripted by Graham Greene [from his own novel], is a plodding, low-key, and eventually tedious melodrama.
Greene’s screenplay rambles on through a seemingly interminable 156 minutes. Not the least of film’s flaws is the role played by Elizabeth Taylor (wife of South American ambassador Peter Ustinov), who has a recurring, deteriorating affair with hotel-owner Richard Burton
The very poorly-made story point is that Burton gradually, finds something to live for, in his eventual flight to join mountain rebels, pitiably equipped and pitilessly portrayed. Alec Guinness is a society-type arms promoter who fakes a military background. In a climactic scene where he confesses the fraud to Burton, Guinness excels.