Sophia Loren has been described as miscast in this role, but that doesn’t diminish her acting qualities. She is always superb and no less here than in any other of her films. It’s true, her make-up and hair style, eye mascara and sometimes overwhelming sex appeal might seem a little out of place for a concentration camp veteran with a past as a German officer’s s fling bent only revenge in extreme bitterness dominating all her life, but Sophia Loren manages it. Although she is as flamboyant a character as she is, she makes even this ruin of a girl a convincing character.
Peter Finch is equally good and as perfect as ever, while Jack Hawkins as the major approaching the end of the line gives the film the one soft touch it needs to become supremely interesting.
Saul Kaplan’s music is also very adequate, actually vying with the “Exodus” theme sometimes, so there is nothing wrong with this film. On the contrary, it is underrated and as a human drama much more interesting and engaging than “Exodus”, and Peter Finch is more convincing than Paul Newman.