5.7/10
350
6 user 4 critic

Justine (1969)

In Alexandria, in 1938, Darley (Michael York, a young British schoolmaster and poet, makes friends through Pursewarden (Sir Dirk Bogarde), the British Consular Officer, with Justine (Anouk ... See full summary »

Directors:

George Cukor, Joseph Strick (uncredited)

Writers:

Lawrence Durrell (novel), Lawrence B. Marcus (screenplay)
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anouk Aimée ... Justine
Dirk Bogarde ... Pursewarden
Robert Forster ... Narouz
Anna Karina ... Melissa
Philippe Noiret ... Pombal
Michael York ... Darley
John Vernon ... Nessim
Jack Albertson ... Cohen
Cliff Gorman ... Toto
George Baker ... British Ambassador David Mountolive
Elaine Church Elaine Church ... Liza
Michael Constantine ... Memlik Pasha
Marcel Dalio ... French Consul General
Michael Dunn ... Mnemjian
Barry Morse ... Colonel Maskelyne
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Storyline

In Alexandria, in 1938, Darley (Michael York, a young British schoolmaster and poet, makes friends through Pursewarden (Sir Dirk Bogarde), the British Consular Officer, with Justine (Anouk Aimée), 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. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Alexandria - Perfumed city of carnal delights moral corruption. Justine - pride of Alexandria

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

6 August 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alexandria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joseph Strick worked for several weeks on this movie on-location in Tunis (with Anouk Aimée, not Glenda Jackson). His plan was to film as much of it as possible on-location. He had quarrels with the management of Twentieth Century Fox and was disliked by some of his actors and actresses. Anna Karina claimed that he had actually fallen asleep while directing her. When he was replaced by George Cukor, a big decision was taken to re-create the Alexandria of the 1930s in the Hollywood studios and to do the rest of the movie there. A few bits and pieces of Strick's location work were retained, but most of his work was re-shot by Cukor, who accepted the extant cast. This movie ended up being enormously costly, and was a box-office flop. See more »

Quotes

Pursewarden: [to Justine] When the hell are you going to stop being an old sin-cushion - into which we all have to thrust our rusty pins!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Samba Chica
(uncredited)
Music by Herbert W. Spencer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Forty-karat kitsch baroque
17 June 1999 | by matt-201See all my reviews

George Cukor's adaptation of Lawrence Durrell's ALEXANDRIA QUARTET forms the shape of a dial made of character traits from medieval mystery plays--Fanatic Patriotism, Sexual Cunning, Heartless Bargaining, Furtive Retreat. If Durrell sought to catalogue every human impulse, Cukor had another, lower agenda that serves the material beautifully: shifting these allegorical characters into ripe, lustrous kitsch icons who seem to have time-travelled from a Sternberg movie circa 1931.

The whole picture seems to have undergone a time-machine move from THE SHANGHAI GESTURE to swinging '69. It's Cukor's most vibrant movie visually, and each gorgeously staged and color-patterned shot finds a new way to layer an Islamic tapestry atop psychedelic poster art.

Cukor, brought in as a replacement, brings a vigor to the material you don't associate with him, and at 70, he still knew how to shape the beats of a scene like a Broadway pro. It is reported that he and the star, Anouk Aimee, loathed one another, and in honesty it's easy to see Cukor's frustration: she gives a dismally coy, incommunicative performance as the black widow whose web forms the story. She seems aberrantly at odds with the coolly dignified, taciturn style of the other performances: Dirk Bogarde, as the Graham Greene-ish diplomat with a lurid secret may never have been more creepily sympathetic than he is here. And John Vernon, an actor best known for playing pompous authoritarians in B movies, has such noble composure as Justine's long-suffering husband that he seems to turn into a folk-art engraving of a noble and besieged human soul.


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