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   7,509 votes »
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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:
Star Actors at Their Peak Inhabiting Tennessee Williams at His Most Flamboyant in a Rundown Mexican Resort See more (75 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)

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


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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:
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 »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
T. Lawrence Shannon:The Fantastic Level and the Realistic Level are the two levels upon which we live.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Mxican Hat DanceSee more »

FAQ

Why did Shannon make the unscheduled stop in Mismaloya?
What is 'The Night of the Iguana' about?
Why was Rev Shannon a pariah in his church?
See more »
25 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Star Actors at Their Peak Inhabiting Tennessee Williams at His Most Flamboyant in a Rundown Mexican Resort, 15 June 2006
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

Flamboyantly flawed characters are Tennessee Williams' oeuvre, and I doubt if any of his plays has more of them wallowing in their debilitated states of psychological disrepair than "The Night of the Iguana". This richly acted 1964 adaptation directed by the estimable John Huston has its share of excesses, veering wildly from melodrama to black comedy, but they are all for the sake of illustrating Williams' broader themes of alienation and redemption while screenwriter Anthony Veiller stays true to the playwright's Baroque flourishes.

The protagonist is Reverend Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon, defrocked from his church in Virginia for an indiscretion with a young girl. He desperately takes a job as a tour guide for a group of spinster teachers from Texas headed by the belligerent Miss Fellowes. Vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, they end up shanghaied by Shannon to a dilapidated beach resort run by his old friend and lover, the hedonistic slattern Maxine Faulk. Enter a caricature artist named Hannah Jelkes and her poet grandfather, penniless travelers who find themselves drawn by fate to the resort. Complicating matters among the tour group is a nubile blonde named Charlotte, as she tempts Shannon to repeat his previous misdeeds. His unrepentant desires all come to a head when Hannah and Maxine tie him to a hammock, and a series of cathartic moments occur among the principals.

Richard Burton is ideally cast as Shannon, as he seizes the screen with his Shakespearean voice and increasingly manic behavior. With her trademark gentility, Deborah Kerr brings a curious mix of hucksterism and guile to Hannah, but it's Ava Gardner who gives her career-best performance as Maxine - brash, funny and undeniably sexy surrounded by her maraca-shaking beach boys. Having just read Lee Server's illuminating biography of the tempestuous star, I get the strong impression that the character mirrors Gardner's real-life persona to a T. The last act, which highlights the thematic dynamics represented by Shannon, Hannah and Maxine, shows the actors in peak form. Sue Lyon plays Charlotte in her most appropriate post-Lolita manner, and Grayson Hall does her best to avoid the gargoyle-like caricature that Miss Fellowes represents. The one casting flaw is the wooden Skip Ward, a Troy Donahue look-alike, as the tour group assistant.

Better than what he did with Arthur Miller's "The Misfits" three years earlier, Huston does an impressive job balancing all the disparate elements without falling into the trap of making it too campy, even if the chorus-like beach boys do seem silly in hindsight. Gabriel Figueroa's crisp black-and-white photography is effective, though it is the one Tennessee Williams-related work that I wish took advantage of the colorful flora and fauna of the area. The 2006 DVD offers a couple of worthwhile extras - a vintage short, "On the Trail of the Iguana", which has interviews with cast and crew and give a sense of the paparazzi blitzkrieg surrounding the stars, especially Burton who was then living with Elizabeth Taylor before her divorce from Eddie Fisher was final; and a recent, more academic featurette, "Huston's Gamble" with comments from film historians on the movie's impact.

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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
Whatever Happened to Hannah Jelkes? vonnegut2000
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
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