- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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night of the iguana
- kevin sellers
Tennessee Williams understood that if you want your audience to sit through a two hours plus theatrical misery fest and not only find it interesting but actually entertaining then you must provide plenty of black comedy, steamy sex, and exotic, decadent locales. And John Huston understood that if you are adapting said misery fest for the screen then you had best do it with verve and rapid pacing as well as darkly beautiful cinematography and two of the best actors around at the time as well as a past icon of the movies delivering arguably her best performance (talking of course about Ava Gardner). All of the foregoing virtues are evident in "Night Of The Iguana" which, in my opinion, is tied with "Streetcar" for best movie adapted from a Williams play. The only serious fault I can find in it is Sue Lyon who, in her performance of the teenage sexpot Charlotte, cannot get past the Lolita character she was fated to repeat over and over again in her (mercifully) short career. So let's give it an A minus. P.S. An uncredited Emilio Fernandez does a great bit as a somewhat prudish beachside bartender.
See it through....
- Denise Bassen
The screenplay and acting are first rate, and the rewards come toward the end (known in playwriting as the "dnouement.) This is an existential piece done with compassion. Deborah Kerr is riveting in the final sequences, along with her colleagues.
Low Rating for a Great Film
I find this film, out of the literary genre, to be an in depth look at some universal American character types. It's a rare film for people interested in plumbing the depths of human nature. It's not just about entertainment. It's about discovery and transformation....life and death. These are themes for the mature mind. They are presented here with great acting from all concerned; a good plot structure; and with plenty grace, insight, wit, and charm. The life drama here is well supported by the plot and the character exposition...for once. I find the rating on TCM TV of three of four stars to be just ludicrous. This is a great film.
I like Terry's last line
- Jeff Boston
Easy gal winds up with cheesy pal in breezy locale. In 1964, this movie made viewers queasy it was so sleazy. John Huston was a great weezy of Mexico. Well deserved Oscar nom for its B & W cinematography.
Ava Gardner is Brilliant
- David Atkins
MGM cast Richard Burton, at the time a huge International Star in Tennessee Williams The Night Of The Iguana.John Huston directs well a cast comprising of Mr. Burton, Deborah Kerr and the gorgeous and wonderful Ava Gardner. A bit of back story Bette Davis starred on Broadway in the play but cast difficulties with Patrick O Neal and Margaret Leighton prompted Ms. Davis to leave the show. When casting the movie Susan Hayward was considered and may have declined the role, and I do not think John Huston and 7 Arts ever considered Bette Davis but Ava Gardner got it and stole the movie.
A Lovely Role for Miss Gardner
- Jarrod McDonald
Ava Gardner's role was originally played by Bette Davis during the Broadway run of Williams' play. When Davis left after creative differences with her director and costars, Shelley Winters took over the part. Imagine how different the film would've been with Davis or Winters as Maxine instead of Gardner! But I think Ava is simply brilliant with this performance and a career high for her. Some reviewers have commented on the story's homosexual undertones involving the Miss Fellowes character. This is one of the first overt lesbian characters by Tennessee Williams. He revisits the theme of lesbianism in a later play in the 1970s called 'A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur.'
Interesting, very interesting...
Very interesting hypothesis Terry. Also, you offer a very insightful interpretation of the subliminal, emotional chaos which dominates the underlying frustrations inherent in each character's psyche. My biggest problem is that I "react" viscerally whenever I see impactful cinematic performances, lol. I view these films strictly on a superficial level and very rarely delve into a character's psychological makeup. You have done a wonderful job in clarifying matters. I'm certain then we both agree, that each actor turns in a exemplary, riveting performance under the astute direction of Mr. Huston.
Of course Miss Fellowes is hateful
- Terry A. Hurlbut
Of course Miss Fellowes is hateful--and yes, she /is/ a homosexual. She nearly admitted as much in the scene when she thought she was talking to Charlotte (who had gone to see Shannon). Later on, Maxine identifies what's wrong with Miss Fellowes, and Shannon, while seeking to avoid making things less pleasant than they already are, confirms it.Hey--this is a Tennessee Williams play, and homosexuality /will/ play a part in it.And of all the characters in that play/film, Maxine is the only one who talks straight (pardon the pun). She knows Shannon better than he wants to admit, and says so from the get-go. The trouble is that she wants Shannon very badly, and Shannon is such a jellyfish that he doesn't know /what/ he wants.Then again, don't you get the feeling that the three marquee names in the cast are really portraying themselves?
I now know HATE!
I have very rarely "hated" anyone in my life, BUT, I truly do HATE, Miss Fellows, I mean HATE! Though Shannon may possess a propensity for lecherous behavior, Miss Fellows is nothing but a "frigid" sexually frustrated old biddy whose only goal in life is to be the ruination of the Rev. Shannon's. I actually believe that Miss Fellows desires Charlotte for herself. I detect an underlying inclination toward homosexuality with the sanctimonious, morally conservative Miss Fellows. You'll have to watch and draw your own conclusions. But be warned, "she" is a miserable, contemptuous old hag. The pity of it all is that "she" is not that old either. Yuck! She was cast strategically in this role as Shannon's nemesis. And, her annoying voice just makes me cringe with disgust!