Synopsis by Karl Williams
Playwright Christopher Isherwood and co-writer/director Tony Richardson adapted the novel by Marguerite Duras into this romantic drama. Jeanne Moreau plays Anna, a Frenchwoman of means who experienced fleeting true love with a sailor many years before. In the interim, her husband killed himself and left Anna his vast fortune, and now she is sailing from port to seedy port, searching the world over in vain for her long-lost sailor. In the meantime, Alan (Ian Bannen), a young Englishman, argues with his girlfriend Sheila (Vanessa Redgrave), and leaves her. Alan encounters Anna and, intrigued, joins her on her heartbreaking quest, which takes them aboard Anna's sailboat to Africa and Greece. As Alan begins to realize that he's falling in love with his traveling companion, they meet Louis de Mozambique (Orson Welles), who joins them on their mission but suggests that Anna's elusive sailor may never have existed anywhere other than in her mind. Nevertheless, Anna and a smitten Alan continue their pursuit. Richardson and Isherwood had collaborated previously on the more successful, darkly satirical The Loved One (1965), adapted from the novel by Evelyn Waugh and considered a cult classic.