The Comedians fits right into Peter Glenville's oeuvre as a stage director who really did not transition well as a film director. There's a lack of cinematic life to his film, and any effectiveness purely comes from the performances. That's the case here as it seems like the film wants to be an ensemble piece about the various lives and characters being intertwined with a potential government coup. The problem is most of the characters seems superfluous and the purpose of the film does not even seem to present itself until very late in the game when it focus very specifically on one element. Elizabeth Taylor seems only there because Richard Burton's there. The only people who seem to have a purpose are Burton, because he's the lead, Alec Guinness and James Earl Jones the latter two though really only because they manage to performances that alleviate the material and manage to surpass Glenville's uninspired direction.