The Night of the Iguana (1963)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Aug 6, 1964 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 125 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Tennessee Williams' morality play is well adapted to the screen in writer-director John Huston's 1964 film version. Typically of a Williams effort, there's more than enough intense melodrama and sexuality to go around. This was one of the final films in the spate of screen adaptations of his work, which began with 1951's A Streetcar Named Desire. Changing sexual mores and an increase in sexual frankness may have made Williams' once-scandalous themes seem downright old-fashioned, but Huston's film has survived the test of time better than some others. In the hands of a lesser director, the movie might have become an aberrant sexual farce. All of the actors play their roles straight, and the film mostly benefits from their performances. The sultry Ava Gardner comes across well, though her career would slide into oblivion as the 1960s progressed. As the drunk and defrocked priest lusted after by three very different women, Richard Burton tends to go over-the-top. There was reportedly a great deal of tension on the set among the leads, who were stuck on location in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.