This intoxicating, rarely screened adaptation of Lawrence Durrell’s beloved novel—the first in his “Alexandria Quartet”—found Cukor working from the wreckage of a half-finished Joseph Strick project, adapting to unfamiliar scenery (an incense-heavy, pearl-encrusted Egypt, shot on a soundstage and bathed in perpetual magic-hour light) and an all-star European cast (Anouk Aimée—with whom the director was famously at odds—Anna Karina, Dirk Bogarde, and Philippe Noiret). The result is a heady, melancholic tone poem in which the novel’s story is blanketed over by a tapestry of atmospheric effects and mysterious gestures—the kind that linger in memory long after the credits roll.

  • Directed By George Cukor, Joseph Strick
  • 1969
  • USA
  • 35mm
  • 116 minutes