A seductive woman falls in love with a mysterious ship's captain.


Albert Lewin


Albert Lewin (story and screenplay: suggested by the Legend of The Flying Dutchman)
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Mason ... Hendrik van der Zee
Ava Gardner ... Pandora Reynolds
Nigel Patrick ... Stephen Cameron
Sheila Sim ... Janet
Harold Warrender ... Geoffrey Fielding
Mario Cabré ... Juan Montalvo
Marius Goring ... Reggie Demarest
John Laurie ... Angus
Pamela Mason ... Jenny (as Pamela Kellino)
Patricia Raine Patricia Raine ... Peggy
Margarita D'Alvarez Margarita D'Alvarez ... Senora Montalvo
La Pillina La Pillina ... Spanish Dancer
Abraham Sofaer ... Judge
Francisco Igual Francisco Igual ... Vicente
Guillermo Beltrán Guillermo Beltrán ... Barman (as Guillermo Beltran)


Albert Lewin's interpretation of the legend of the Flying Dutchman. In a little Spanish seaport named Esperanza, during the 30s, appears Hendrick van der Zee, the mysterious captain of a yacht (he is the only one aboard). Pandora is a beautiful woman (who men kill and die for). She's never really fallen in love with any man, but she feels very attracted to Hendrick... We are soon taught that Hendrick is the Flying Dutchman, this sailor of the 17th century that has been cursed by God to wander over the seas until the Doomsday... unless a woman is ready to die for him... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She was the living symbol of the sin that lurks in women! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The lines that van der Zee quotes on the beach at night are from 'Dover Beach', a short lyric poem by Matthew Arnold. See more »


According to a banner at the event, the (wheel-driven) land speed record breaking attempt occurs on August 20, 1930. The narration states that Cameron will have to average more than 214 mph. However, the real land speed record at that time - set more than a year earlier, on March 11, 1929 - was 231.446 mph. Beyond this, the thought of Cameron attaining the speeds he does in a car with the unmodified body from an open wheel race car of the time is rather absurd: specially built bodies were already being built to reach these speeds in the 1920s. Beyond the aerodynamic considerations for speed, a potentially even larger problem was creating downforce to provide enough traction at these speeds. See more »


Pandora Reynolds: [looking at Hendrik's painting of her] It's not me as I am at all. But it's what I'd like to be.
[looking at Hendrik]
Pandora Reynolds: Why am I not like that?
Hendrik: Perhaps because you're unfulfilled. Perhaps you've not found what you want. Perhaps you do not even know what you want, perhaps you're discontented. Discontent appeases itself by fury and destruction.
Pandora Reynolds: [suddenly angry] Fury and destruction! Is that your opinion? Well perhaps I can find something here to destroy.
Hendrik: I have no doubt you will.
Pandora Reynolds: Your painting of me, for ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: According to the legend, the Flying Dutchman was condemned to wander the seas eternally unless he could find a woman who loved him enough to die for him . . . .



Featured in Arena: Screen Goddesses (2012) See more »


You're Driving Me Crazy
Music and Lyrics by Walter Donaldson
Sung by an uncredited male voice
See more »

User Reviews

Albert Lewin's take on the Flying Dutchman legend...could had worked out better though.
13 November 2009 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

Funny thing about the legend of the Flying Dutchman is that nobody knows what it exactly is all about. Different stories about the history of the alleged ghost ship exist and different names of its captain also float around. Hendrik van der Zee, as he is being called in this movie, is one of them.

This is a movie I just can't really put my finger on. I don't understand what this movie is trying to tell really. It's hard to label this movie as well. It's a romantic drama with fantasy elements in it as well. It doesn't have an everyday story and also some not so everyday characters in it. Guess the movie is about love and human nature but for me it wasn't very appealing all. The main characters are quite repulsive ones, of which the female deliberately hurt other persons feelings to get what she want and the man killed the woman he loved out of sheer jealousy. Why should we care about a love story between these two. Of course the characters redeem themselves but no, I just wasn't drawn into it.

It's also a rather slowly paced movie. Some excitement wouldn't had harmed the movie. Not that it's dull but its slow pace just makes the movie drag on in parts. You have the feeling that the movie could had easily been halve an hour shorter. The movie does still takes some nice turns though, making this movie all in all still a perfectly watchable one.

The movie is also good looking. It's a period piece, shot in color. It actually was the first motion color picture Ava Gardner appeared in. It still obviously wan't the most expensive movie to shoot, judging by its visual qualities but it helps that movie that it was being shot at location rather than in sound-studio somewhere.

Ava Gardner and James Mason are both obviously some capable actors but because I just wasn't drawn into the movie and it's story I also didn't really got into their characters. Can't blame the actors for that really, since they are obviously doing the best they can with the material given to them.

By all means its not a badly made and constructed movie, I had just wished it's execution would had been a bit more lively and perhaps also some more fun. The movie is being mostly serious of tone, making this movie more heavy than it really should be.



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English | Spanish

Release Date:

15 October 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,466, 9 February 2020

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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