(director: J. Lee Thompson; screenwriter: Mort Fine/story by Mort Fine; cinematographer: Tony Richmond; editor: Alan Strachan; music: Stanley Myers; cast: Anthony Quinn (Theo Tomasis). Jacqueline Bisset (Liz Cassidy). Raf Vallone (Spyros Tomasis), Edward Albert (Nico Tomasis), James Franciscus (President Cassidy), Camilla Sparv (Simi Tomasis), Charles Durning (Michael Russell); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Allen Klein/Ely Landau; Universal; 1978)
“Tabloid friendly, trashy and exploitative.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An uninteresting glossy soap opera take take on the Greek billionaire shipping magnate Ari Onassis and his romance with the American widow of the assassinated American president Jacqueline Kennedy. Director J. Lee Thompson(“The Passage”/”The White Buffalo”/”St. Ives”) keeps it tabloid friendly, trashy and exploitative. Mort Fine’s story is not so fine. The only thing I take away from this dud is a few yawns and a bad taste in my mouth.

Anthony Quinn is the aging married Theo Tomasis. He’s suave, wealthy, charming and scheming. Jacqueline Bisset is Liz Cassidy. She’s good looking and looks a lot like Jackie O. She’s also married. Her hubby is a brash senator ( James Franciscus), who will become the President. The movie uses different names to create a fictionalized version of the eventual celebrity marriage between the scheming tycoon and the fashionable former First Lady. The story has been tossed around in the tabloids for so long that it is well known by almost everyone.

To sit through this fictionalized version is a waste of time. It reinforces that the tycoon has a nice yacht, knows how to dance Greek style when faced with tragedy (like the loss of his son-Eddie Albert) and that despite his wealth and successful courting of the American prize-catch is not a happy camper. And for that matter, she’s also not happy. I suppose they make a good couple, even if locked into a passionless arrangement. But I would have to see another biopic about them to get a better read on the situation.