Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Great Dramas: The Night of the Iguana (1964).

The Night of the Iguana (1964). 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.

A defrocked Minister by the name of Shannon, is now working as a tour guide for Blake Tours, his first job is to take a group of Baptist School teachers on a bus to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Charlotte's aunt, accuses Shannon of trying to seduce her niece and fires him. Panicked, Shannon drives the bus and ladies, to a Costa Verde Hotel in Mismaloya on the coast of Mexico, where he tries to prevent Fellowes from calling his boss.

Shannon is surprised when he hears that his old friend Fred, died a month earlier and the hotel is now run by Fred's widow, Maxine Faulk.

Soon after, Hannah Jelkes, a painter from Nantucket who travels from place to place with her elderly poet grandfather show up. They have run out of money and Shannon convinces the not to happy Maxine, to let them stay.

While Shannon ties to battle his demons, Miss Fellows niece continues to make trouble for him.

Shannon suffers a breakdown, the cabana boys tie him in a hammock, Hannah calms him with poppy tea and understanding..

Night of the Iguana is very emotional film. The characters all have their troubles, but.. they are also thoughtful and face life head on. Creating a film that is absolutely amazing. One that you will want to watch many times.


  1. Thanks for posting on THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, it is a favorite of mine. Richard Burton, Deborah Kerr and Ava Gardner are all in top form...and, of course, it's Tennessee Williams by way of John Huston. One especially touching moment in the film is when Kerr's grandfather (played by Cyril Delevanti)finally completes and recites his final's a beautiful poem...

    How calmly does the olive branch
    observe the sky begin to blanch,
    without a cry, without a prayer,
    with no betrayal of despair!
    while night 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
    an 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?

    (YouTube has the clip of his wonderful recitation)

  2. ladyEve, The poem is amazing. Thank you for posting it. I will add the video. If you click on the THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, poster located on the side bar, you will see behind the scenes video.


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