July 16, 2007

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Ava Gardner shot a film here in Tossa de Mar back in the early fifties, "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman". Here is the plot summary fused from two separate ones from the Internet Movie Database:

In 1930, singer Pandora Reynolds, gorgeous, enigmatic, and fascinated by danger and destruction, has the men of a small Spanish town in despair. Just when race driver Stephen Cameron thinks he's won her, a mysterious yacht appears in the bay whose eerie captain may be the legendary Flying Dutchman. Stephen has an apparently more dangerous rival in the form of an arrogant bullfighter; but Pandora's friendship with the Dutchman may lead them both to a rendezvous with Fate...

We are soon taught that Hendrick is the Flying Dutchman, this sailor of the 17th century that has been cursed by God to wander over the seas until the Doomsday... unless a woman is ready to die for him...

Besides whatever sentimentality those who know Tossa might have in seeing this movie, it's a real piece of work. The plot moves in the narrative of the old style, seemingly meandering about without the usual drive of plot development that is killing today's blockbusters. It's worth seeing just for that.

What is even more interesting to me is how Ava Gardner electrified the little fishing pueblo, burning through men internationally along the way, art imitating life imitating art. There was a bullfighter famous in his time that had to contend with a smitten Frank Sinatra, both cruising the Costa Brava like feral tomcats for Ava's affections.

I think James Mason is fantastic. But I don't think he was a tomcat, though. Or maybe he was on the QT? That James Mason had a slyness about him but in a more world weary way, he wasn't a sly fox looking for henhouses.

I mention Pandora and the Flying Dutchman here to note a couple of ideas that I have for contemporary remakes:

1) An "art film" (low budget and driven by caprice) featuring a lad/lass from Tossa who is driven through serial summer romances, burning down each one in the search for higher heights of passion. "Golosa" is the term in spanish for one who is lusty, more commonly a reference for a sweet tooth. Suddenly, he/she is smitten by one who can never be had...

2) A major Hollywood production starring Angelina Jolie, today's siren equivalent of Ava Gardner. (But then again with her new life and family brood, maybe her time as femme fatal has passed? Who would take her place?)

(Image Source)

Posted by Dennis at July 16, 2007 12:07 PM


Sketches are in fact pleasant source of teaching instead of content, its my familiarity, what would you say?

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