The tone, conjoining ironic tragedy and a kind of macabre farce so closely that they become inseparable, demanded adjustments beyond anything for which audiences (and, for that matter, critics) were prepared. Were we suppose to laugh or weep? Was the film’s ending exhilarating or horrifying? Since that time, the film has been appropriated, most unfortunately, as a “camp” classic. But it is a profoundly serious work.