Like most of the other Taylor-Burton films of the 60's, this one was reviled by critics and audiences alike, with critics taking out most of their venom on the miscasting, the performances, and the general pretentiousness of the entire production. It was an immediate and costly bomb, garnering just $2 million in box office on a budget of $10 million (US dollars).
Since the film's release, it has become a frequent member of numerous "Worst Of Film" lists, and is, in fact, one of noted director John Waters' favorite 'bad' films.
The play from which it was adapted, considered one of Williams' lesser plays, was also a flop, closing on Broadway after just 69 performances. A later revival starred Tallulah Bankhead and Tab Hunter. This, too, flopped, closing after 5 performances.
In contrast, the soundtrack album by John Barry which featured a Johnny Dankworth/Don Black composition Hideaway sung by Georgie Fame, has been re-released several times and has remained popular with collectors.