The novels of Marguerite Duras are frequently no more than lengthy short stories – and not too strong on the narrative side. With such interpreters as Christopher Isherwood and Tony Richardson (neither famous for clarity of intent) plus Don Magner, the ensuing screenplay is replete with repetitive sequences.
A Britisher (Ian Bannen) and his mistress (Vanessa Redgrave) are on an Italian holiday which quickly becomes evident will be their last. She’s still hungry for him but he can’t stand her but isn’t brave enough to send her away.
When a mysterious woman on a yacht (Jeanne Moreau) crosses their path, his greed (both sexual and practical) provides the impetus to ditch his mistress and make a fast pass at the yachtswoman.
Orson Welles is wasted on a brief bit as an information peddler and Hugh Griffith is only slightly better as a white hunter and guide. Redgrave is touching and believably irritating in her brief role. The rest of the cast walk through their parts like somnambulists.