The Night of the Iguana

Synopsis: The Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon has been living in Mexico for two years, working as a tourist guide for a cut-rate travel agency. Shannon lost his church and was defrocked after taking liberties with one of his parishioners. He's now accompanying a group of middle-aged ladies from Texas whose leader, Judith Fellowes, is keeping a close eye on her teenage ward, Charlotte Goodall, who definitely has an interest in the former priest. After Charlotte and Shannon spend the night together, Fellowes is out to have him fired and to keep her from communicating with his employer, Shannon strands them at a remote hotel run by his good friend Maxine Faulk. It's the arrival of Hannah Jelkes and her elderly grandfather that has the greatest impact however. Her approach to life and love forces Shannon to deal with his demons and re-evaluate his life.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): John Huston
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 13 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min

Let the words of my mouth,

and the meditation of my heart... always acceptable in thy sight.

O Lord, my strength...

...and my redeemer.

The sermon for today... taken from Proverbs.

Chapter 25...

...verse 28.

"He that hath no rule over his own spirit... like a city that is broken down,

and without walls."

And I wonder as we examine our hearts

together in this place set aside for worship... many of us here can say,

"I rule my own spirit."

For how weak is man.

How often do we...

How often...

How often do we stray from

the straight and narrow.

For only when we abide in the Lord

are we like cities without walls.

Only then can we defend ourselves

against Satan and his temptations.

We cannot rule ourselves alone.

God only is our... Is our...

God only is our help.

And our salvation.

All right! You know!

That's why you're here!

To see this city with its broken walls!

"Whenever two or three

are gathered in my name"... what scripture says.

That's not why you're here.

Let's change the words. Let's rewrite

the order of the Morning Prayer.

Whenever two or three or 2O or 3O

or 2OO or 3OO...

...are gathered together

to make whispered comment... sit in judgment upon

the condition of a... Of a what?

Yes, of a man of God.

I said, man of God, and I mean it!

Just what you all know, that your pastor,

your spiritual shepherd is...

Is the descendant of a clergyman,

the grandson of two bishops.

But there were collateral branches to the

family that went forth to brave dangers...

...and who were scalped.

Men with men's hearts,

the wild and free hearts of men!

They knew hunger

and they fed their appetites.

They fed their appetites.

Appetites that I have inherited.

I defy you! Shannon defies you!

Get out your tomahawks!

Get out your scalping knives!

Sharpen your scalping knives! Scalp me!

I will not and cannot continue to conduct

services in praise and worship of this...

...angry, petulant old man

in whom you believe.

You've turned your backs on the God

of love and compassion...

...and invented for yourself

this cruel, senile delinquent...

...who blames the world and all that

he created for his own faults.

Close your windows! Close your doors!

Close your hearts

against the truth about God!

Hello there.

- Where are they?

- Still inside the church.

I'm sick of dark old churches.

I like sunshine.

I'm sorry. I keep forgetting what

you were. I mean, what you are.


Lovely, isn't it?

- Yeah.

- What do you call it again?

"Cup of gold."

Could you drink from it, really?

Champagne for two in copa de oro.

- Dr. Shannon.

- Miss Fellowes. Here you are, Miss Peebles.

The same brand even.

Fix you up in no time.

- Oh, I am grateful. How much do I owe you?

- Six pesos-fifty.

But it was only six pesos

in Ciudad Jurez.

- I have it written down right here.

- It doesn't matter, Judith, really, it doesn't.

Ciudad Jurez is 1200 miles behind us,

Miss Fellowes.

I thought it was too far to go

to save 4 cents.

- Are we downhearted?

- No.


Did you see that?

Look. There's another.

What have those boys got, Dr. Shannon?

Iguanas. Giant lizards native

to this part of Mexico.

It is alleged they taste like chicken.

You mean they really

eat those awful-looking creatures?

- Hank, stop on the bridge.

- Stop?

Yeah, on the bridge.

What are we stopping for?

A moment of beauty, Miss Fellowes.

A fleeting glimpse

into the lost world...

...of innocence.

Look, Reverend,

we're behind schedule now.

Drive on, driver.


My brother in Abilene,

that's Clarence Throxton...

...has a chain of 23 laundromats.

He says all he wants

on his tombstone is:

"He liberated the women of Texas

from the bondage of wash day."

Aren't they unbelievable?

Squawk, squawk, squawk,

ever since we started.

If they want all the comforts of home,

then why don't they stay at home?

My goodness, this has been

a rich experience.

It sure has.

Everything's gone wrong

from the first day.

Every calamity in the book.

The whole trip has been hoodooed.

You better get back, Miss Goodall,

where you belong.

You said it was going to be Charlotte.

All right. Charlotte.

- And I can't go on calling you Dr. Shannon.

- Just "Shannon" will be fine.

Couldn't it be Larry,

if you're gonna call me Charlotte?

Honey, have a heart.

I have, Larry. I've just discovered.

Now you change places with me,

Charlotte, dear.

I want to talk to Dr. Shannon

about our itinerary.

I'll see you later, Larry.

I assume you know that Charlotte

is underaged, Dr. Shannon?

What's that got to do with our itinerary?

If you know what's good for you,

leave her alone.

Miss Fellowes, are you aware you are

speaking to an ordained clergyman?

Stop leading her on.

I don't know what happened back

in Tierra Caliente and I don't want to know.

Because if I did know,

I'd have to take steps.

Don't make me take steps,

Dr. Shannon.

Now, nothing happened

back in Tierra Caliente.

The room clerk got our keys mixed up,

that's all. A mistake, pure and simple.

Whatever suspicions you may be harboring

are quite groundless.

I can assure you of that.

Just leave her alone.

Don't make me take steps.

All right, girls, ready for another song?

These pills aren't doing anything for me.

Not anything!

- Puncture.

- Blowout.

Burned-out brake linings.

Rate this script:3.3 / 3 votes

Anthony Veiller

Anthony Veiller (23 June 1903 – 27 June 1965) was an American screenwriter and film producer. The son of the screenwriter Bayard Veiller and the English actress Margaret Wycherly, Anthony Veiller wrote for 41 films between 1934 and 1964. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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