Pandora And The Flying Dutchman
One of the most beautiful colour films in British cinema history, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman also cemented Ava Gardner’s status as a major star.
Loosely based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman, Albert Lewin’s film tells the story of Pandora (Gardner), a beautiful young woman who has never fallen in love. Rebuffed admirers have even committed suicide rather than face a life bereft of her attention. But the arrival of Captain Hendrik van der Zee (James Mason) in the small coastal Spanish fishing port of Esperanza makes more than a few waves. Particularly Pandora, who finds herself inextricably drawn to the troubled stranger.
Shot by Jack Cardiff, whose work on Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes made him one of the most sought-after cinematographers, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman was almost forgotten before its restoration in the 2000s. It now ranks as one of the offbeat classics of 1950s British cinema.