After producing several blockbusters (CHAMPION; THE WILD ONE; HIGH NOON; and DEATH OF A SALESMAN), Kramer decided to try his hand at directing and chose to adapt Morton Thompson's gargantuan (almost 1,000 pages) novel, admirably pared down by the Anhalts. Kramer partially succeeded, but
was, in the end, defeated by Mitchum's lethargic performance. It's one thing for an actor to appear enigmatic, but Mitchum seems near-comatose in many of his scenes here. Also working against the film is the unbelievable casting of Sinatra (who was near 40) and Mitchum (in his late 30s) as young
interns. Mitchum is in medical school and can't pay the tuition, so he is in danger of b...