Sunday, February 08, 2015

Dvd/150: The NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (John Huston, 1964)

Three years after it's Broadway premiere, Tennessee Williams' THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA was filmed by John Huston with Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and Sue Lyon, aged only 18 and in her first film since LOLITA.

Shannon is a former priest working as a tour guide in Mexico following a sexual transgression.  When teenager Charlotte in his tour group seduces him, he faces the vengeance of her domineering aunt.

He Shanghais his group at the hilltop hotel owned by his recently widowed friend Maxine and together they attempt to stop the aunt reporting him to his boss.

Also in residence is the painter Hannah Jelkes with her ailing poet grandfather.  Shannon and Hannah befriend each other, to Maxine's jealousy, but during a stormy night, they all understand the key to life is endurance.

Huston's uneven pace leaves Burton's mannered broodiness failing against stronger performances from Kerr and Gardner.

Shelf or charity shop?  Bound for DVD limbo, in a paper sleeve kept in a plastic storage box...

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