IMDb > The Night of the Iguana (1964)
The Night of the Iguana
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The Night of the Iguana (1964) More at IMDbPro »

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The Night of the Iguana -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   7,335 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Tennessee Williams (play)
Anthony Veiller (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Night of the Iguana on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 August 1964 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Man And Woman - Love And Lust - Ruin And Redemption - One Night They All Meet. See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the masterpieces of American, and indeed world, cinema. See more (74 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Burton ... Rev. Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon

Ava Gardner ... Maxine Faulk

Deborah Kerr ... Hannah Jelkes

Sue Lyon ... Charlotte Goodall
Skip Ward ... Hank Prosner (as James Ward)

Grayson Hall ... Judith Fellowes
Cyril Delevanti ... Nonno
Mary Boylan ... Miss Peebles
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fidelmar Durán ... Pepe (uncredited)

Emilio Fernández ... Barkeeper (uncredited)
Eloise Hardt ... Teacher (uncredited)
Gladys Hill ... Miss Dexter (uncredited)
Barbara Joyce ... Teacher (uncredited)
C.G. Kim ... Chang (uncredited)
Roberto Leyva ... Pedro (uncredited)
Billie Matticks ... Miss Throxton (uncredited)
Betty Proctor ... Teacher (uncredited)
Liz Rubey ... Teacher (uncredited)
Bernice Starr ... Teacher (uncredited)
Dorthy Vance ... Teacher (uncredited)
Thelda Victor ... Teacher (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Huston 
 
Writing credits
Tennessee Williams (play)

Anthony Veiller (screenplay) and
John Huston (screenplay)

Produced by
Ray Stark .... producer
Sandy Whitelaw .... associate producer (as Alexander Whitelaw)
Emilio Fernández .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Benjamin Frankel 
 
Cinematography by
Gabriel Figueroa (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ralph Kemplen 
 
Art Direction by
Stephen B. Grimes  (as Stephen Grimes)
 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins 
 
Makeup Department
Agnes Flanagan .... hair stylist
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles creator
Eric Allwright .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Jack Obringer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Clarence Eurist .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Shaw .... assistant director
Jaime Contreras .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Terry Morse Jr. .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Basil Fenton-Smith .... sound
Van Allen James .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Manuel González .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Benjamin Frankel .... conductor
 
Other crew
Angela Allen .... script supervisor
Gladys Hill .... associate: Mr. Huston
Abe Steinberg .... production executive
Joseph P. Sinda .... assistant: Richard Burton (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
125 min | Germany:112 min | 118 min (TCM print)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (video rating) (1996) | USA:Approved (certificate #20613) | West Germany:16 (f)

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:
Boom mic visible: A boom mic hits Burton's Shannon on the head in a scene with Deborah Kerr.See more »
Quotes:
Lawrence Shannon:I want to explain something to you... A man has got just so much in his emotional bank balance. Mine has run out. It's stone dry. I can't draw a check on it. There's nothing left to draw out.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Mxican Hat DanceSee more »

FAQ

Why was Rev Shannon kicked out of his church?
Shannon calls Miss Fellowes the "witch of Endor". Who is that?
From which biblical passage is Rev Shannon's opening serman taken?
See more »
73 out of 87 people found the following review useful.
One of the masterpieces of American, and indeed world, cinema., 22 January 2001
Author: Ruvi Simmons (ruvi@well.com) from London

It is possible to watch a film on a wide range of emotional and intellectual levels. One can pay attention only to the visuals, only to the minute trivia related to actors and actresses, to the most obvious displays of physical action, to appeals to one's sympathies, or to the underlying content and profundity trying to be expressed and communicated to the viewer. Thus, films can be judged to fail on the one hand when they succeed on the other, and this, I think, explains the lukewarm response to what is the finest films ever made in the English language. Whether or not Richard Burton always plays a drunk, whether or not it should have been in colour, are not in the least bit relevant to the significance, the concepts and the issues at play in this brilliant film, this monument to the resilience of human souls, to the compassion that can bring such succour on long, tortured nights, to the precious decency that is for some a perpetual struggle to attain, and the search, the life-long search, for belief, love and light.

The backdrop to the exploration of these issues that are so fundamental to individual lives is a Mexican coastal hotel. The central character is a de-frocked and unstable priest, T. Lawrence Shannon (Richard Burton) who, like the iguana that is tethered up in preparation to being eaten, is at the end of his rope. He walks alone, without the crutch of facile beliefs or human companionship beyond sterile physical conquests which only serve to heighten his own self-loathing and isolation. He arrives at the hotel in search of sanctuary in light of his mental deterioration. On his arrival he meets his old friend, the lascivious but no less desperate Maxine (Ava Gardner), a poet on the verge of death who is nevertheless striving for one last creative act, one last stab at beautiful self-expression, and his grand-daughter Hannah (Deborah Kerr), a resilient woman painfully trying to reconcile herself to loss, loneliness and the bitter struggle she faces with her own personal demons. They are united in that they are divided, in that they are all tortured souls seeking beauty, life, meaning and engaged in battles to stand tall, to live with integrity and love. On a hot, cloying night, a night of the iguana, when all their ropes snap taut, they meet.

The pivotal and most crucial part of this film is the conversation between Lawrence and Hannah. The former is in the throes of a nervous breakdown, the latter has survived and endured through the same. They are kindred souls that aid one another through the therapy of human connection, of empathy in the long, lonely walk. It is in this conversation that Tennessee Williams explores the issues make this film so important: through his characters, who are throughout depicted not as mere shallow cliches but individuals with histories and feelings that run deep, with subtleties that bring them to life, he meditates upon the struggle to find meaning in one's life, the need for companionship, the importance of compassion, and the way in which people endure, all the time grasping at what dignity they may have, and which may be forever threatened by trials, doubts and pain. These are not issues that date, that diminish in relevance, or that relate only to certain people - they are concepts that are universal, that speak to each individual and relate to fundamental facets of the human mind and spirit.

Because Night of the Iguana sets out to tackle such issues, it is elevated far beyond the level of most films. It is profound, but also deeply emotional, made more so by the superb characterisations (aided, in addition, by universally superb performances). One is afforded an insight into characters, into people, who live, breath, cry, shout, scream, and endure. They are fallible, capable of spite, caprice, and baseness, but they are also thoughtful, courageous and strangely noble. To watch them interact, thrown together as they are on a Mexican veranda, is affecting both emotionally and intellectually, and it is this interaction which is responsible for creating a film that stands (tall and dignified) above nearly all others.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Night of the Iguana (1964)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The Scene with Charlotte + Shannon in the ocean lmzman
guys with maracas tvwatcher616
Old Man's Poem numbersix_99
The ending ***spoilers**** Sebastian76
Deborah Kerr was fabulous and outshined Ava Gardner... TheMysteriousLady
Whatever Happened to Hannah Jelkes? vonnegut2000
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