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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)

On the 65th birthday of the family patriarch (Burl Ives), a wife (Elizabeth Taylor) must not only deal with the alcoholic apathy of her husband (Paul Newman) but the machinations of her brother in law (Jack Carson) and his wife (Madeleine Sherwood) to wrest control of the family estate. Based on the Pulitzer prize winning 1955 play by Tennessee Williams and directed by Richard Brooks (ELMER GANTRY). This being 1958, the play's homosexual content was white washed though the suggestion is still there albeit buried under rewritten dialog which softens the potency of Williams' play. Still, while it does compromise the film but it doesn't ruin it. It's still an excellent rendition of Williams' work with a superb cast. Reputedly, Williams was unhappy with the film version but to be fair, he himself had altered the original play at Eliza Kazan's (the play's director) request but restored it for subsequent revivals. All that aside, Taylor and Newman both look impossibly gorgeous but fortunately they can also act which is important as Newman has to convince us he's not interested in bedding Taylor which he somehow manages to do. Not the definitive filmed version of Williams' popular play but still the best all in all. With Judith Anderson, Larry Gates and Vaughn Taylor.  

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