Truly, truly brilliant. It is so rare that I see a film that I wouldn't change, and I honestly can't think of a thing. Huston's films so often include that quintessential scene -- the one where his characters realize that they've lost everything, and respond with unbridled true character. Those who cry or bemoan the loss are beyond redemption. But those who can laugh in the face of disaster, who can ask forgiveness for the patently unforgivable -- they are the greatest of Huston's figures, and perhaps the greatest characters of cinema. Just as Bogart and Hepburn laugh while they lie in the bottom of a boat awaiting death, Michael Caine and Sean Connery face certain death in this film and respond with complete honesty and complete honor. For all of their lies and arrogant ambitions, they are still a pair of b*****ds you would love to know.
Which brings me to the two incredible performances. It is nearly impossible for such recognizable actors to fade into the guise of their characters. But Caine and Connery manage it, and with perfect aplomb. As best friends, they are perfectly inseparable, and their innate connection makes for one of the most affecting male friendships in history. Surrounded, with no reasonable hope in the world, Danny asks Peachy to forgive him for being "so bleeding high and so bloody mighty." And, of course, Peachy forgives him. These are men who sing boldly in the last moments of life. God bless John Huston.