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The Night of the Iguana (1964)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  6 August 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 8,076 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 42 critic

A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Night of the Iguana (1964)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Charlotte Goodall
Skip Ward ...
Hank Prosner (as James Ward)
Cyril Delevanti ...
Mary Boylan ...
Miss Peebles


The Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon has been living in Mexico for two years, working as a tourist guide for a cut-rate travel agency. Shannon lost his church and was defrocked after taking liberties with one of his parishioners. He's now accompanying a group of middle-aged ladies from Texas whose leader, Judith Fellowes, is keeping a close eye on her teenage ward, Charlotte Goodall, who definitely has an interest in the former priest. After Charlotte and Shannon spend the night together, Fellowes is out to have him fired and to keep her from communicating with his employer, Shannon strands them at a remote hotel run by his good friend Maxine Faulk. It's the arrival of Hannah Jelkes and her elderly grandfather that has the greatest impact however. Her approach to life and love forces Shannon to deal with his demons and re-evaluate his life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hotel | bus | mexico | guide | church | See All (166) »


One man... three women... one night See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 August 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La noche de la iguana  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nearly half the film's $3 million budget was used to pay the three major star's salaries: Richard Burton ($750,000), Ava Gardner ($400,000) and Deborah Kerr ($250,000). See more »


A boom mic hits Shannon's head when he's talking to Hannah. See more »


Maxine Faulk: Hey! Now just a flippin' minute!
See more »


Referenced in On the Trail of the Iguana (1964) See more »


Mxican Hat Dance
("Jarabe Tapatio") (uncredited)
Traditional Mexican folk dance
Heard on record played during fight in the beach bar between Hank and the beach boys.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

All-Time Great
1 March 2000 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Watched this film recently for the seventh or eighth time -it' always a delight. Classic Burton hamming it up just enough. . . calm, cool Kerr proping up "Shannon's" sanity. . . free-spirited Gardner charging around trying to keep her sanity and reaching out for Shannon. . .Lyon, the "precocious" seductress. . . all were amazingly believable. I didn't have a problem with the black and white, in fact, I think it added to impact of the film, leaving it up to the actors to pull out the heart of William's magnificent play without the benefit of color, although I'm not sure color would have made any difference anyway. The final dialogue between Kerr and Burton was spellbinding: the meeting of two souls, if only for the moment.

Kerr, Burton, and Gardner were at their finest in this film.

37 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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