Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Albert Lewin, 123 mins (PG)

Starring: Ava Gardner, James Mason, Nigel Patrick, Sheila Sim, Marius Goring
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The Independent Culture

Admire, if you will, the luscious Technicolor of this 1951 reissue, courtesy of ace cameraman Jack Cardiff, subject of a tribute this month at the BFI.

Swoon at the almost unearthly beauty of Ava Gardner as an American playgirl on the loose in 1930s Spain. But try not to laugh at the tumultously silly farrago involving a Dutch sailor (James Mason), a racing car driver, a bullfighter and a young drunk (Marius Goring) who has one scene with Gardner at the piano before killing himself with poison. No fool, as it turns out: things only get worse. Albert Lewin produced, wrote, and directed – astonishingly, he managed to work again after this.