March 3, 2012

This was my submission to one of Andrew Sullivan’s View From Your Window Contests:

The view is of buildings overlooking Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon. It’s of a special spot too; a pivotal location in a great movie that helped put Vallarta on the map and gave it a place in Hollywood romance lore.

As every guidebook and tourist map will tell you (over and over again), Puerto Vallarta was made famous to Northerners by John Huston’s 1964 Night of the Iguana, and by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who conducted their notorious affair there throughout its filming. In the movie, Burton plays Reverend Lawrence Shannon, a disgraced priest who’s been kicked out of his own church for being too hands-on with a “very young Sunday school teacher.” He’s now a tour guide and his current, thankless task is shuttling a group of Baptist schoolteachers around Mexico. These hens are headed by a suspicious, joyless harridan who is chaperoning her Lolita-like niece (played, naturally, by Sue Lyon). It’s an impossible situation.What’s special about the spot shown in the contest photo? In the lower left, in the open space with the palm trees, you’ll see a stubby black and white striped truncated obelisk. It’s an old light house. Watch for it in this video at the forty-two second mark; you’ll see that this week’s VFYW is of the exact location where Burton’s Reverend Shannon loses his shit.

VFYW Vallarta

I’m sure you’ll get a ton of correct submissions for this one — the view is instantly recognizable if you’ve spent any time walking around PV’s old town. (The iron bars on the windows are a recognizable feature too — sadly, they are everywhere there and they are not decorative.) The window is on the top floor of the Condominio Marina Del Rey, on the corner of Calle Galeana and Calle Matamoros. Specifically, it’s at 20°36’34.45″N, 105°14’0.53″W

(This is the second time Andrew Sullivan—possibly the most widely read writer online—has featured one of my videos. But for some reason Sullivan does not credit his readers’ many contributions. I took care of this by changing the title of my video after he posted it on his site. See it here.)