A novel that is so strange and hallucinatory that it’s often hard to tell exactly what’s supposed to be happening, is literalized by Huston into hard, brassy explicitness. The result is intense, but unintoxicating. Albert Finney is Geoffrey Firmin, Lowry’s disgraced, self-destructive consul, binging himself into an early grave in a forgotten, heat-baked corner of Mexico.
Jacqueline Bissett is his wife, Yvonne, unexpectedly loyal to her drowning husband, but unable to arrest his slow descent. Anthony Andrews is her better bet, hanging around on the fringes. A supremely difficult book becomes an easy film, and struggles hard to find a reason to exist.
Albert Finney as Geoffrey Firmin
Jacqueline Bisset as Yvonne Firmin
Anthony Andrews as Hugh Firmin
Ignacio López Tarso as Dr. Vigil
Katy Jurado as Senora Gregoria
James Villiers as Brit
Dawson Bray as Quincey
Hugo Stiglitz as Sinarquista
Günter Meisner as Herr Krausberg, the German Attaché (uncredited)
Director: John Huston
Script: Guy Gallo, Malcolm Lowry
Mexico – UK | 112 minutes | 1984