By Eve Goldberg
The Night of the Iguana, Tennessee Williams’s last great play, was turned into a 1964 movie which, in its day, was as famous for its behind-the-scenes spectacle as for what actually appeared on screen.
Today, Iguana is rarely mentioned alongside the other classic Tennessee Williams film adaptations: Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Suddenly, Last Summer. Despite a tremendously talented cast, compelling characters, and a can’t-look-away examination of our anguished, redeemable humanity, Iguana is often neglected.
So, it’s high time for a fresh look at this movie — with a focus on its journey from stage to screen.
"Shannon!" shouts Maxine Faulk from the veranda of her run-down hotel on the coast of Mexico. Thus opens Tennessee Williams’ 1961 play. The setting is 1940. Recently widowed Maxine greets her old friend, Reverend Shannon,