What is, apparently, an exercise in spoofery on the part of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the even more energetic Peter Ustinov, starts as a variation on the Faust legend but almost immediately turns into a belabored antic.

What is, apparently, an exercise in spoofery on the part of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the even more energetic Peter Ustinov, starts as a variation on the Faust legend but almost immediately turns into a belabored antic.

The somewhat sketchy screenplay is no more than a line on which the three principals hang their rarely inspired improvisations.

Burton, as the lunatic Hammersmith who flees the asylum with the connivance of male nurse Beau Bridges by promising him unworldly riches, goes through the film with a single bored expression. Bridges is sleazy and repulsive and well deserving of his fate. Ustinov, as the asylum keeper, committed to recapturing Hammersmith, would be funnier if his lines, spoken with an unintelligible ‘mad scientist’ accent could be understood.

Hammersmith Is Out

Production

Crean. Dir Peter Ustinov; Producer Alex Lucas; Screenplay Stanford Whitmore; Camera Richard H. Kline; Editor David Blewitt; Music Dominic Frontiere Art Dir Robert Benton

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton Peter Ustinov Beau Bridges Leon Ames George Raft
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