Mandel's engaging score is wasted on this turgid mess. by filmfactsman (April 12, 2006)
According to co-star Richard Burton: "Working in the film 'The Sandpiper' was pure torture. The dialogue was so awful that you'd die a little each day from sheer embarrassment. We only got into the picture because Elizabeth (Taylor) wanted to work with William Wyler (who wisely bowed out of the production and was replaced by Vincente Minnelli)." Not any amount of shortcomings in the film, however, could alter the fact that Johnny Mandel and Paul Francis Webster had contributed one of the most beautiful songs ever composed for a motion picture and "The Shadow of Your Smile" took the Oscar as 1965's Best Song. The score itself is hauntingly stated and melodically attractive. Unfortunately it crowns the sound track of a film that feels as if it were marinated in marzipan and spliced with molasses. But Mandel's cues find rich, evocative accents ("Weekend Montage") to make the film seem less awful than it is. In one of her satiric thrusts Elizabeth Taylor later commented about the movie: "We never thought it would be an artistic masterpiece." Right on Liz!