10:30 P.M. SUMMER

(director/writer: Jules Dassin; screenwriter: Marguerite Duras/based on the novel by Marguerite Duras; cinematographer: Gabor Pogany; editor: Roger Dwyre; music: Cristobal Halffter; cast: Isabel Maria Perez (Judith), Peter Finch (Paul), Melina Mercouri (Maria), Romy Schneider (Claire), Julián Mateos (Rodrigo), Beatrix Savon (Rodrigo’s wife), (), (); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jules Dassin/Anatole Litvak; United Artists; 1966-West Germany-in English)


Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

It’s hard to believe such a talented director like Jules Dassin (“Never on Sunday”/”Brute Force”/”Night and The City”) could direct such drivel. It’s based on the erotic novel by French author Marguerite Duras. American expat Dassin is heavy-handed in handling the realism, while his Greek wife Melina Mercouri over acts and gives a stilted performance.

While driving on holiday through the Spanish countryside, a married couple, the Greek wife Maria (Melina Mercouri) and the Englishman hubby Paul (Peter Finch), travelling with their young daughter Judith (Isabel Maria Perez) and, for some unexplained reason, Maria’s attractive friend Claire (Romy Schneider), get caught in a thunderstorm and check-in to the nearest hotel in a provincial town. Just before they arrived, a 19-year-old peasant named Rodrigo (Julián Mateos) killed in one of the rooms his unfaithful 19-year-old wife (Beatrix Savon) and her lover. The police search the hotel but Rodrigo is undetected hiding on the roof.

The alcoholic neurotic Maria chooses to ignore hubby making love to Claire, and instead obsesses over the fugitive. When she spots him on the roof, they become lovers. The distraught Maria then helps the fugitive elude the police manhunt.

The pretentious art film sets an erotic mood, and might attract some enamored by either its absurdity or potential to be a good pic.