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JOHN HUSTON DIRECTS SUE LYON IN 'THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA'

Skip Ward aka James Ward with Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA Year: 1964 Rating: ***
"I'm sick of dark old churches... I like sunshine," says Sue Lyon to Richard Burton, as a young LOLITA style temptress to a fallen preacher (who keeps falling, and seems content falling), who takes the girl and a group of old ladies — headed by a bitter and vengeful Grayson Hall — on a bus trip to Mexico where, instead of the promised air-conditioned city hotel, they're deliberately derailed to a rural mountainside lodge owned by an independent and experienced Ava Gardner...

This where most of the story takes place after starting out an eclectic road movie as Lyon's flirty tease Charlotte Goodall can't stop getting Burton's  Rev. Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon in trouble...
Richard Burton and Ava Gardner in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Making classy yet wayward British lady Deborah Kerr, as an artist with her extremely old poet father, more of a mysterious female force for Burton despite her being right up front...

Scenes where Gardner's Maxine becomes jealous injects the kind of necessary melodrama that this Tennessee Williams adaptation by director John Huston needed much more of...
Sue Lyon with two dancing bozos in John Huston's THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Randomly interrupted by banal ingredients, including any scene with two maraca-shaking native studs who never stop dancing, and the fact Lyon's character basically fades out before being fully fleshed-out...

Then again this very symbolic NIGHT is Burton's ride, sweating out his existence in what's a dreamlike fable where the actors fare better than their abundant, often self indulgent and ultimately, overlong wordplay. 
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA with Grayson Hall
Deborah Kerr in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Grayson Hall and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Grayson Hall and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton and Deborah Kerr in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Skip Ward and Sue Lyon in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton in John Huston's THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton in John Huston's THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Richard Burton in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA with Eva Gardner
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