We report a case of a spindle cell malignant melanoma of the iris that was excised locally in 1952, only to become clinically evident again 25 years later. The tumor exhibited unusually slow, compact growth, with local infiltration into the ciliary body and dispersion of tumor cells into the angle structures and onto the posterior cornea. No extraocular dissemination was evident. Histologically, the cells in the specimens taken in 1952, 1978, and 1981 had remarkably similar morphological findings. The patient has had no recurrences 12 months after enucleation.