Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Night of the Iguana

Frequently art imitates life. Whether it be a performance mirroring an actor's  own life or a piece of literature reflecting the life of a complete nobody, it's both interesting and kinda freaky.

When minister T. Lawrence Shannon (Richard Burton) is expelled from from his Virginia church, he travels to Mexico where he becomes a tour guide for a bus load of spinsters and teenage nymphet Charlotte Goodall (Sue Lyon), who is being chaperoned by the inflexible Judith Fellowes (Grayson Hall). Fellowes plots to have Shannon fired after catching him with Charlotte one time too many, but Shannon thwarts her plan. The group ends up at the secluded hotel of Shannon's friend Maxine Faulk (Ava Gardner), where Shannon meets the genteel Hannah Jelkes (Deborah Kerr).

I read on a list that Burton's performance in The Night of the Iguana is an essential one. Upon seeing that, I felt compelled to see it. Did I agree with what the list said? Only slightly. He gives a really good performance, though I wouldn't dub it essential (that goes to his work in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). There is also good from Gardner and Kerr. The work from Lyon is pretty good, though it mirrored her role in Lolita more than once. The movie itself? It lags from time to time, but it still holds up most of the time.

My Rating: ****

1 comment:

  1. Anna nice to see you looking at the classic NOI. FYI--For this film only one actor was nominated for an Academy Award (and Golden Globe), the "inflexible Miss Fellows", Grayson Hall.

    Just a plug for her official

    R J Jamison


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