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The Night of the Iguana (1964)

 -  Drama  -  6 August 1964 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,512 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 40 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.

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Title: The Night of the Iguana (1964)

The Night of the Iguana (1964) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 (70) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 August 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La noche de la iguana  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters of the Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon (Richard Burton), Maxine Faulk (Ava Gardner), and Hannah Jelkes (Deborah Kerr) were played in the original 1961 Broadway production by Patrick O'Neal, Bette Davis, and Margaret Leighton. The play, its producer and Leighton all were nominated for 1962 Tony Awards, but did not win. See more »

Goofs

When Richard Burton and Sue Lyon emerge from the ocean, Burton's chest is completely smooth. For the remainder of the film, which is supposed to take place that same day and the day after, copious amounts of chest hair can be seen at the opening of Burton's shirt. See more »

Quotes

Judith Fellowes: [t Charlotte Goodall] Dreadful girl. You defied me. You *deliberately* defied me.
[slaps Charlotte across the face; Charlotte exits]
T. Lawrence Shannon: What did you think we were doing out there, Miss Fellowes? Spawning?
Judith Fellowes: Oh, you beast. You beast!
[sobbing]
Judith Fellowes: You beast!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murder, She Wrote: Night of the Coyote (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

An interesting night at the movies
3 October 2002 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Director John Huston took an all-star cast to a remote Mexican location to film this adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play. The location atmosphere lends a lot to the production and gives it a realistic atmosphere. Burton plays a shamed priest, shut out of his church and reduced to giving bus tours of Mexico for grotesque ladies of religion. (The breakdown which led to his dismissal is shown in a hilariously overwrought prologue.) One young passenger, Lyon, falls for him in a big way which does not sit well with her uptight (and repressed lesbian) chaperone (Hall.) The tour winds up at Gardner's hilltop hacienda where she has been mourning the recent death of her husband by getting it on regularly with two silent, maraca-shaking cabana boys. They are soon joined by a sketch artist (Kerr) and her ailing grandfather, a famous poet. Having originated as a Williams' play, it is given that there will be lots of turmoil and sniping among the characters and the film presents these moments well. There are also more than a few quiet moments of reflection and connection which also come across very nicely. Burton is in all his glory as a boozy, washed up man barely hanging on to what little dignity he has left. Gardner gives a credible performance with many zingers sprinkled throughout. She goes a little over the edge at times, but remains strong. Kerr has the most sensitive, thoughtful role and plays it brilliantly as always. Lyon was at the height of her stardom and shows the moves and the bod that made her a sensation, albeit briefly. Especially arresting is Hall. Her stick legs poking out uncomfortably from her linear skirt, her banshee-like voice screeching out the name "Charlotte!" as she frantically searches for nymphet Lyon, she is an exceedingly memorable person. Her final showdown with Burton is magnetic and when she exits the film, it loses a little bit of it's vitality. There is much to enjoy in the film, though sometimes the melodramatics get a bit ripe and the symbolism a touch heavy. The cinematography is incredible. Burton's eyes never gleamed so brightly. (Also, astonishingly, he has a scene emerging from the beach in wet white briefs which show a bit of outline of Rich, jr.! Not exactly expected in a 1964 film...)


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