Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed on location in Mexico by John Huston, Night of the Iguana stars Richard Burton as Rev. Shannon, an alcoholic defrocked minister, who scratches out a living as a south-of-the-border tour guide. His latest customers are several American schoolteachers, and he guides their bus to a rundown hotel owned by flamboyant widow Maxine Faulk (Ava Gardner). Attempting to dally with Charlotte Goodall (Sue Lyon), one of the schoolteachers, Shannon is caught in the act by the group's "den mother" Judith Fellowes (Grayson Hall), who threatens to have him fired. While he and Maxine connive to keep Judith from calling his superiors, artist Hanna Jelkes (Deborah Kerr) arrives at the hotel with her ailing, elderly poet grandfather (Cyril Delevanti, in a part reportedly offered to poet Carl Sandburg). The midsection of the film charts the vacillating sexual tensions among the besotted Shannon, the earthy Maxine, and the repressed Hanna. The perversions and demons plaguing the principal characters, merely hinted at in the original stage production of by Tennessee Williams, are expanded by Huston, who co-adapted the screenplay with Anthony Veiller. The film won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Dorothy Jeakins.
alcoholism, bishop, church, employment, late-bloomers, love, motel, owner, priest, relationship, spinster, suicide, tour-guide, unemployment
High Artistic Quality