Saturday, May 15, 2010


I always find it fascinating to learn what goes on behind the scenes of my favorite films. The Night of the Iguana(1964), is one of my favorites. The film is based on the 1961 play The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams. Directed by John Huston. Cast: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr. It won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Costume Design, and was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography. Actress Grayson Hall received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and Cyril Delevanti received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film had plenty of behind the scene stories. Richard Burton brought his soon-to-be-wife Elizabeth Taylor to the location shoot. The filming attracted the paparazzi, and turned the city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico into a tourist attraction.

Director John Huston, was a filmmaker, screenwriter and actor. Along with Night of the Iguana, he directed: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952) The Misfits (1960), and The Man Who Would Be King (1975).

Poem from Night of the Iguana

How calmly does the olive branch
Observe the sky begin to blanch
Without a cry, without a prayer
With no betrayal of despair

Some time while light obscures the tree
The zenith of its life will be
Gone past forever
And from thence
A second history will commence

A chronicle no longer gold
A bargaining with mist and mold
And finally the broken stem
The plummeting to earth, and then

And intercourse not well designed
For beings of a golden kind
Whose native green must arch above
The earth's obscene corrupting love

And still the ripe fruit and the branch
Observe the sky begin to blanch
Without a cry, without a prayer
With no betrayal of despair

Oh courage! Could you not as well
Select a second place to dwell
Not only in that golden tree
But in the frightened heart of me.


  1. This is a great post! I haven't seen this movie yet and I just realized that it is in my Tennessee Williams collection that I received for a birthday gift! I have no idea how I didn't realize this earlier. Looks like I'll be watching this very soon.

  2. Welcome Kallim, For me.. it was one of those movies you wished were filmed in color, because of the beautiful location. But.. I guess it would have changed the mood of the film.


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