I remember vividly seeing this movie on TV in the mid-late 60’s, probably Saturday Night at the Movies. I was a very closeted gay teenager at the time, and the scenes with Sen. Anderson realizing his past was catching up with him, and his suicide, just gave me a chill all the way to my bones. Not a pleasant message about what to expect in life.
My impression about Anderson at the time, though, was not that he was “really” gay, but that he just messed around during the war. That is, the movie didn’t seem to want to commit to the idea that he was gay, but that even the taint of suspected gayness was enough to make him end his life to avoid the shame of it.
Anyway, I read the book later and thought it was fascinating, but I agree that Drury got more and more out there with each successive book. I couldn’t read the last two.