Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman Videos

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman Photos

Movie Info

A legendary film, which has been elevated to haute cult status. A dutchman, living in the 17th century, is not permitted to rest until he finds a woman who loves him enough to die for him. He meets the reincarnation of a woman from his dead past and falls in love. The story progresses to a hair-raising reconciliation of past and present.


James Mason
as Hendrik van der Zee
Ava Gardner
as Pandora Reynolds
Nigel Patrick
as Stephen Cameron
Sheila Sim
as Janet Fielding
Harold Warrender
as Geoffrey Fielding
Mario Cabré
as Juan Mantalvo
Pamela Kellino
as Jenny Ford
Patricia Raine
as Peggy Ford
Marguerite D'Alvarez
as Senora Montalvo
Marius Goring
as Reggie Demarest
John La Pillina
as Spanish Dancer
La Pillina
as Dancer
Lily Molnar
as Geoffrey's Housekeeper
Phoebe Hodgson
as Dressmaker
John Carew
as Priest
Gabriel Carmona
as Members of Montalvo's Quadrilla
Antonio Martín
as Members of Montalvo's Quadrilla
Helen Cleverley
as Second Nurse
Gerald Welsh
as Assistant Doctor
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

Passionate, classical, mysterious and surreal all at once.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Lacks imagination.

Full Review… | June 24, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Its unique oddball blend of fatalistic Hemingway-esque masculinity, swoony romance and mythology, literary allusions...and grab bag of styles...makes Pandora and the Flying Dutchman nearly as hypnotic as the romance it retells. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | August 20, 2010
Groucho Reviews

... there is a grace to the literary elegance and poetic dialogue of his script, and to the rich mix of European history, myths ancient and contemporary and Spanish culture...

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
Parallax View

Jack Cardiff's superb Technicolor cinematography looks as beautiful as Gardner and that's substantially the reason the film has stood the test of time.

May 20, 2010
London Evening Standard

It's one of those unclassifiable efforts that threaten permanently to topple over the edge of ridiculousness, but somehow manage to avoid it.

Full Review… | May 14, 2010

Audience Reviews for Pandora and the Flying Dutchman


Not a classic by any means, but "Pandora" is technically excellent for its time with superb cinematography (it was great to see it in technicolor on the big screen at the Star Cinema here in Strasbourg), creative editing (mainly so they could imply violence and distress without showing anything shocking), and a strong cast, who fit into the typical archetypes of the day quite well. It has an air of mystery too it - naturally, since it's about the literal Flying Dutchman - but it isn't able to quite hold it the whole way as the script is quite didactic, obvious, and at times cheesy. The character development of side characters (seriously, the leading lady is getting married to a guy and is engaged to him throughout the entire film, but he stops showing up besides a few background appearances after maybe half an hour of this two-hour movie. Still, it's a well-made, well-meaning and fun bit of 50s melodrama that you wouldn't mind catching on the TV if it was on. Fans of classic mystery/romance/drama movies and/or fans of mythology can't really go wrong with it as long as they can handle the dated dialogue and the unappealing use of soft focus here and there.

Cameron Johnson
Cameron Johnson

While I wouldn't consider "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" a masterpiece or a lost piece of cinematic perfection, it's beautiful cinematography captured in beautiful technicolor and strong performances make it a beauty to behold. The film has a very dream-like feel to it and the deliberate pacing of the film only adds more to this mood that suits both the story and film wonderfully! While many critics at the time of the film's theatrical release criticized Ava Gardner's performances, saying it was too cold and contrived, I think it suits the role flawlessly. James Mason gives a powerful portrayal of the Dutchman who after murdering his wife out of false suspicion of her infidelity is cursed to sail the seas until Judgement day. Of course the catch is that if he finds love (He is allowed to walk the earth for six months every seven years in search of a woman willing to love him and die for him.) then the curse will be broken and he can find peace. This is one of many films to have been lovingly restored thanks to the involvement and devotion of Martin Scorsese who should be given loads of credit for his passion in bringing this and many other Classic films back to their former glory on Blu-ray! This is certainly a very hard film to classify or stick in a certain genre and is more like a lucid dream that combines mysticism and melodrama to form a wonderful romance film that is so much more then it's separate pieces.

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

truly bizarre. you'll have to watch and judge for yourself if it's wildly romantic or ridiculously over the top. it's as if the archers had directed 'the fountain'...not quite as good but more fun. a gorgeous looking film. some call this lewin's masterpiece but i'll take 'the picture of dorian gray'

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Pandora and the Flying Dutchman on our Movie forum!

News & Features