The title roles are played by Ava Gardner and James Mason. She is Pandora, the center of a group of British and American expatriates living in a small town on the Spanish coast. Desired by all the men around her, she destroys them one by one in her search for a partner willing to sacrifice everything for love. She meets her match when a mysterious man arrives from the sea. In this strange, haunting and ultimately moving tale of passion unto death, a femme fatale meets the Flying Dutchman, another version of Lewin's homme fatal. The film marks the apotheosis of Lewin's knack for blending the baroque and the surreal; he hired his friend Man Ray to be the still photographer on set.