Pandora, small and big confidences of Ava Gardner

CINEMA CRITIQUE – Released in 1951, Albert Lewin’s film benefits from a restored version. The kitsch of this tragedy in clothes of light is intact.

The film has lost none of its charm, nor Ava Gardner of its brilliance. In a restored version, Pandora (1951) still shines brightly and the sun of the Costa Brava is not the only one responsible. In postcard Spain, Albert Lewin films the impossible love between a femme fatale and the reincarnation of the Flying Dutchman. The American singer drags all hearts after her, causes the suicide of an alcoholic, pushes a racing driver to throw his car from the top of a cliff. They all want to marry her.

At Bar Las dos Tortugas, wine flows freely. Flamenco punctuates the evenings. A sailboat anchors in the bay. The pilot breaks speed records – 400 kilometers per hour – on the beach of Tossa de Mar, renamed here Esperanza. A bullfighter faces his fate in the arena. James Mason, impassive, awaits the sentence of fate. Technicolor splashes onto the screen. Feelings swirl at the sound of the castanets. We don’t do more kitsch. Tragedy puts on its …

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