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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
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  • ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN
    I had just seen this movie for the first time, and I probably played it 8 times before I had to take it back to the video store. This movie is a story about love and "so-called" betrayal. It leaves you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens in the end. It's a story that you'll want to see over and over again. Paul Newman is gorgeous in this movie! Elizabeth Taylor portrays so much class and elegance. I walked away wanting to be just like her. You have to see this movie. It actually has a plot that you can't figure out in the first 5 minutes of the movie....more info
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    Great old Classic. The Stars are truly some of the tops of all times, great storyline...more info
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    I absolutely loved this movie, Elizabeth Taylor should of recieved an academy award for her performance in this movie, all the characters were incredible believible. I highly recommend this movie to true movie classic lovers!!!!!!!!...more info
  • 48 years later . . .
    . . . this movie looks quite different than when it first came out. Now watching it on my big screen TV in remastered DVD digital clarity in my late fifties, I experienced an entirely new view of it. Some of it hits more passionately in the more intimate setting of your own living room but some of it shows up poor directing of this all star cast especially towards the end when Maggie, Brick and Big Daddy are dissecting the suicide of Brick's football buddy and Big Daddy's impending demise due to cancer. There are moments when they seem to be discussing something benign like where to go on vacation instead of the life and death issues they are facing in William's classic. Cast fatigue? Director collapse? This notwithstanding, the quality of the DVD is excellent. Now if we could only have the same quality video capture of the Broadway production . . . ...more info
  • Enough Mendacity to Sink A Ship
    The first couple of paragraphs here have been used as introduction to other plays written by Tennessee Williams and reviewed in this space. This review applies to both the stage play and the film versions with differences noted as part of the review

    Perhaps, as is the case with this reviewer, if you have come to the works of the excellent American playwright Tennessee Williams through adaptations of his plays to commercially distributed film you too will have missed some of the more controversial and intriguing aspects of his plays that had placed him at that time along with Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller as America's finest serious playwrights. Although some of the films have their own charms I want to address the written plays in this entry first (along with, when appropriate, commentary about Williams' extensive and detailed directing instructions).

    That said, there are certain limitations for a political commentator like this reviewer on the works of Williams. Although his plays, at least his best and most well-known ones, take place in the steamy South or its environs, there is virtually no acknowledgement of the race question that dominated Southern life during the period of the plays; and, for that matter was beginning to dominate national life. Thus, although it is possible to pay homage to his work on its artistic merits, I am very, very tentative about giving fulsome praise to that work on its political merits. With that proviso Williams nevertheless has created a very modern stage on which to address social questions at the personal level, like homosexuality, incest and the dysfunctional family that only began to get addressed widely well after his ground-breaking work hit the stage.

    "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" is a prime example of the contradiction that a radical commentator is placed in. The themes of duplicity, latent homosexuality, adultery and dysfunctional families topped off by more than enough mendacity to sink a ship are the stuff of social drama that NEED to be addressed as outcomes in the modern capitalist cultural sphere. However, in the end nothing really gets resolved truthfully here. Old 1950's-style All-American boy Brick, the `great white hope' of the family, may or may not sober up after the `lost' of his dear friend and fellow football player, Skipper. Saucy and sexy wife Maggie (the cat) may or may not really get pregnant by Brick and save the family heritage for him, or die trying. The only certainty, despite all that above-mentioned mendacity, is that Big Daddy is going to die and that 28,000 acres of the finest land in the Delta is going to need new management, either Brick, brother Goober (along with his scheming wife and their `lovely brood' of children) or some upstart. Off of these possible outcomes, however, I would not get too worked up about the final outcome.

    In the movie version, done in the 1950's as well, which starred the recently departed excellent actor Paul Newman as Brick and a fetching Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie the question of Brick's possible homosexual relationship with Skipper is far more muted than in the play. The implicit question seems to concern Brick's fading youth, his search for perfect meaning to life in Mississippi and that one's existential crisis can be eliminated by reliance on the bottle. The relationship between the dying Big Daddy and his ever suffering wife, Big Mama, is less dastardly than in the play as well. The scheming Goober and wife and family and those `lovely' children, however, run true to form. My sense of the movie, unlike the deeper issues of the play, is that a few therapy sessions would put old Brick back on the right track. The play was far less hopeful in that regard.

    ...more info
  • Passion upstairs
    Nearly all of the passion here takes place upstairs in the bedroom occupied by troubled husband Brick and his fiery wife Maggie the Cat. But then Big Daddy is there too, and Brick has some other great scenes with him out in the pouring rain and then later in the basement as he tears it apart.
    Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor both look fantastic here, and the dialogue crackles along with all the familial and interpersonal conflicts.
    ...more info
  • ONE OF THE BEST EVER
    THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOVIES AND WILL BE ONE OF YOURS.
    TAYLOR IS AT HER BEST AND SHE PULLS NEWMANN RIGHT ALONG WITH HER.
    THEY ARE MAGNETIC.
    THEY ALMOST JUSTIFY YOUR DISLIKE OF BROTHER MAN AND SISTER WOMAN AND THEIR NO NECK CHILDREN.
    BIG MOMMA IS PATHETIC BUT ONLY BECAUSE BIG DADDY IS MAKING HER SO.
    BOTH BIG DADDY AND BRICK (NEWMANN) COME OF AGE AND UNDERDSTANDING AT THE SAME TIME.
    MAGGIE THE CAT NEVER GIVES UP ON HER MAN AND THIS IS THE MOVIE!...more info
  • Histrionic Marathon
    This is what passed for adult fare in the repressed 1950's-- Elizabeth Taylor walking around in her underwear while Paul Newman broods darkly about something or other, nobody can figure out what. Few films date as badly as this one. Nor do many from that decade illustrate its afflictions more vividly than Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Pitched about 10 decibels too high so that the audience can confuse loud talk with superior acting, the result is more annoying than thought-provoking or even, perish the thought, entertaining. For a screenplay that prides itself on honesty, what could be more "mendacious" than excising playwrite Williams' homosexual theme from the endless palaver, leaving the audience of that day and this pondering just what is Brick's problem. This is two hours of sound and fury that finally boils down to the tritest of messages-- boys need fatherly love. And how transparent are several of the characters, especially the luckless no-neck clan who make even a Gene Autry B-Western appear sophisticated by comparison. Only Newman manages to come through with professional dignity intact. To think that a slew of Academy Award nominations went to this overheated gab fest proves once again that the awards are more about investments than artistic invention. So pass this one up unless you have a yen for a punctured eardrum and a headache....more info
  • Excellent theater
    Just an excellent story of strife, catharsis and redemption that is as potent today as it was in the 50's. Great play to begin with, and the movie retains it's theatrical ellements which i find personally gratifying. Excellent cast and acting. Love Maggie the Cat. Deffinately a fave. ...more info
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Deluxe Edition)
    I have always loved this film and now I can watch it whenever I want. Elizabeth Taylor is such a wonderful actress that you can't tell at what point in the making of the film her husband Mike Todd was killed in the air crash. Performances by all are a 10+ and an A+....more info
  • "We occupy the same cage, that's all."
    Though Elia Kazan's A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE ranks as the greatest screen adaptation of Tennesee Williams' plays, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF follows closely behind. Like STREETCAR, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF is filled with tension, much of which arouses from the harrowing confrontations between Brick (Paul Newman) and Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor). Brick, once a great football player, is now an alcoholic. He hangs around in his room at his family's home, refusing wife Maggie's consolation and pleas for Brick to love her again. Brick believes that Maggie slept with Brick's best friend; when she tries to bring up the subject, Brick will hear nothing of it. When Brick is reunited with his father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is dying of cancer, he finds himself forced to confront the truths of his life while forcing his father to confront the truths of his.

    As I haven't read the original stageplay, I can't vouch for this adaptation's faithfulness to the source material. I know that Williams himself despised this adaptation to the point of urging audiences not to see it. Despite that, Richard Brooks' CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF has gone on to become a classic, thanks largely to outstanding performances from Newman, Taylor, and Ives. Despite Newman's cruel attitude toward Taylor, we never really think of him a jerk, perhaps because the film makes the point very early on of showing that there's still good within him after Newman's arms automatically rise up to hold Taylor before his rage takes hold of him once more. Taylor looks more beautiful than anyone in cinematic history. Ives' gruff performance as "Big Daddy" is delightful, particularly toward the end of the film. All in all, the cast is terrific.

    Due to a musicians' union strike, there is no original score in the film, only a few bits of library music. The strike turned out to be a good thing, as the lack of music makes the more tense scenes even more powerful. The director, Richard Brooks, does a spectacular job, comparable even to Elia Kazan's superb work on his adaptation of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. To top it all off there's excellent color cinematography by William Daniels and taut editing by Ferris Webster.

    CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF is another stellar Tennesee Williams adaptation and one of the finest and most tense dramas in movie history. If you consider yourself a movie buff it's essential viewing, and even if you're not I would highly recommend it....more info
  • There's An Elephant In The Room
    This screen version of Tennessee Williams' play CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF was quite a success upon its release in 1958, earning Academy Award nominations for both Elizabeth Taylor (Maggie) and Paul Newman (Brick). Maggie and Brick are childless-- sleeping together was a requirement in those days for children to be conceived; these two do not do that anymore. Brick spends most of his time drinking while Maggie pleads for him to stop, to love her, to bed her, etc. Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is worth about ten million dollars, at 65 is dying with cancer. His other son and daughter-in-law have reproduced themselves five times ("no-necked monsters" according to Maggie)and have another in the oven. If Brick is to inherit some of his father's money, he needs to be both sober and a father. He and Maggie are pitted against his brother and wife. Additionally there is his relationship with his father or lack thereof. Although the word wasn't catchy in 1958, there's obviously more than enough dysfunctionality to go around here.

    There is also an elephant in the room bigger than Big Daddy: what really was going on between Brick and his best friend Skipper who committed suicide for unknown reasons. This adaptation of the Williams play doesn't make much sense as to their relationship. They were friends, Brick only started drinking upon Skipper's death, and now won't sleep with Maggie. Since Ms. Taylor as Maggie was at the height of her incomparable beauty in 1958, that Brick does not find her sexually attractive is difficult to comprehend, given what the audience is told. The irony of all of this is that much is made about dishonesty ("mendacity") throughout the film. Certainly the writer here is less than forthright about what really went on between Skipper and Brick.

    Mr. Williams it is said did not like this film at all. He wrote the screen play for a later version that spells out that Skipper and Brick were in love with each other but that Brick rejected such a relationship, and Skipper then committed suicide. The plot at last makes sense.

    This version suffers from too much talk-- often loud talk; additionally the no-neck monsters are little more than caricatures of children. The film is saved, however, with the acting of Newman, Taylor and Ives, particularly Mr. Newman. It is also interesting to see how far movies have come in almost 50 years as to what can be discussed frankly by writers.

    ...more info
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    This powerful depiction of a dynastic southern family crumbling from within is propelled by director/writer Richard Brooks's sure hand, and a first-rate cast, including Taylor, Ives, Carson, and Judith Anderson, as Big Daddy's long-suffering wife. Newman's Brick is a cauldron of sullen anger dulled with alcohol. Watching him here, we glimpse the hallmark of a great actor: not just acting, but reacting, so that all eyes stay on him, even with sultry Liz sharing the frame and spouting most of the dialogue, clad in a white slip....more info
  • The "Cat" entertains fiercely.
    Riveting performances by these celebrated actors hold one throughout the movie. Much enjoyed the educational commentary by Tennessee Williams' biographer, Donald Spoto. The movie was especially enjoyable to me, as this was the very first New York City stage play that I saw - a memorable event in itself....more info
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    The chemistry between Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman is great. Wonderful story of family that has to come to grips with a crisis and take a hard look at things....more info
  • Maggie the Cat
    This movie is wonderful! Elizabeth Taylor is stunning as Maggie, the cat, and Paul Newman as Brick is great. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a great movie that at times will leave you laughing. Maggie loves Brick, but Brick cant forgive Maggie for something that happened in the past. Brick confines himself to the bedroom in his pajamas and always with booze in his glass. He's cold to the loving and sexy Maggie but she wont give up on them. Meanwhile Brick's father Big Daddy comes home from the hospital with a new leash on life so he thinks, and Brick's brother and his family are itching to get their hands on Big Daddy's fortune. This movie is one of my favorites and I highly recommend it....more info
  • hot hot hot
    the story is dynamic and great. the cast is perfect and the cinemaphotography was spot on. ...more info
  • A study in human nature
    An older movie on DVD but a good one with solid performances by all principle actors. Typical Tennessee Williams study in human nature. The DVD arrived in a timely manner and in the condition stated by the seller. I would purchase from this seller again....more info
  • Powerful, though altered, version of the play
    Tennessee William's play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", was considered so controversial that its Broadway producers forced the playwright to alter the third act. Either in spite of or because of the changes, the play was a huge hit. Even with the changes, it had to be further watered down for Hollywood's 1958 movie version. Once more, it was a boxoffice smash. It went on to garner six Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Elizabeth Taylor and Best Actor for Paul Newman. Despite the industry's timidity back then, the movie was a searing, powerful drama about a family in crisis. That it remains so to this day, despite massive changes in social values and mores over the years, is a credit to its brilliant cast and to its director, Richard Brooks.

    Brick and Maggie [Newman and Taylor] have come to his father's big plantation in Mississippi to celebrate the old man's 65th birthday. Everyone calls him Big Daddy, and as portrayed by Burl Ives, he truly is a larger than life figure. Brick's brother, Gooper [Jack Carson], his wife, Mae [Madeleine Sherwood], and their five `little no-neck monsters" are also there. Big Daddy has just returned from several weeks at a clinic where he was treated for cancer. He thinks he is cured, but the doctors have lied to him. He's unlikely to see his next birthday. Rivalry and intrigue abound among the siblings and their families as everyone fights over who will take over the plantation. Brick has major problems of his own. The former star athlete drinks too much, refuses the advances and affection of the gorgeous and calculating Maggie because he blames her for his best friend's suicide, and is bitter about his father, who doesn't seem to love him or anyone else. Brick is also hobbling around on crutches, having recently tripped while trying to leap a hurdle one drunken night. Through all the bickering and fighting, his mother, Big Mama [Judith Anderson], tries desperately to hold onto whatever happiness and dignity the family still possesses. But a storm of confrontations is brewing, and she's powerless to stop it.

    The `shocking' element that was changed was the revelation that Brick and his friend had been lovers and that Maggie's `crime' was her attempt to eliminate her rival. This was changed to the friend's killing himself because he was weak. I think when you know this, you can easily see what is going on underneath the surface between Brick and Maggie. It also makes the characters more understandable and believable. Their constant fighting makes more sense. The story becomes about more than greed, power, money and land. It becomes about the power of the human heart.

    "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is highly recommended, script changes notwithstanding....more info

  • Newman proving decisively that he wasn't a second-rate Brando...
    In "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Newman is an ex-football player, trying to relive his college athletic glories... Drinking and staggering, he attempts to jump hurdles, resulting in a painful injury that has him hobbling around on crutches during most of the film...

    The role was certainly another demonstration of his widening range, for Brick is in many ways the antithesis of Ben Quick ("The Long, Hot Summer"). Although he too is cynical, cold and guilt-ridden, he manifests it by becoming moody, withdrawn, introverted... In addition, whereas Ben was strong and decisive, causing and participating in events, Brick is weak and passive, largely reacting to events around him... And he's anything but ambitious: while his greedy brother and sister-in-law await Big Daddy's death so they can inherit his huge fortune and plantation, and while his wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor) urges him to fight for his share, he merely broods and drinks... An emotionally crippled, "thirty-year-old boy," he refuses to face responsibility and truth, preferring to drown his memories in liquor...

    Newman and Taylor enact striking contrasts in temperament: she is fiery, loud, animated, sensual; he is cold, quiet, immobile, dispassionate... Brick and Maggie haven't been sleeping together, and she wants him desperately, but he keeps rejecting her advances... As she talks, he replies with sarcasm, contempt and mostly indifference, speaking in a dreamy, monotonous manner, as if only half-there...

    In conversations with her, as with Big Daddy (Burl Ives), he stares into space, or walks away (usually toward the liquor supply), turning his back on the other party and forcing the dialog to take place on separate planes... All of this places him in a private world, where he hides his torment and anxiety beneath a mask of detachment...

    If Newman is best at enacting Brick's unspoken thoughts and emotions, he's also effective in the more spirited moments, as when he screams at Maggie or Big Daddy, to prevent them from getting at the truth he wants kept buried... But exactly what the "truth" is remains unclear...

    In the play, Brick's fear of admitting a homosexual attachment led indirectly to his friend's death and explained his overall moodiness and passivity... But because of Hollywood's moral code, director-scriptwriter Richard Brooks had to eliminate this, and the character's motivations are considerably weakened... His hostility toward Maggie--understandable in the play--is especially confusing because it results from events that are unconvincingly outlined...

    With the homosexuality cut out, Brick's dependence upon his friend is now explained by the failure of Big Daddy to provide strength and love, and this changed emphasis does make for exciting drama... The film's key scene--not in the play--is one in which Brick confronts his father with this painful truth... As they sit in a cellar disarranged with the old man's useless antiques, he tells Big Daddy that love cannot be bought... Newman moves powerfully from anguished looks to an eruption of emotion, smashing everything in sight, finally breaking down and crying: "All I wanted was a father, not a boss ... I wanted you to love me." Both are in pain--Big Daddy because of cancer, Brick because his crutch has (symbolically) been broken, and they need each other's he1p to get upstairs... Therefore the film ultimately becomes another statement of father-son alienation, and their coming to terms with it, as in "The Rack" and "Somebody Up There Likes Me," leads the characters to a new strength (and an upbeat ending not in the play).

    Despite its compromises, the film was still daring by 1958 standards, and was an enormous commercial success... It received six Oscar nominations, including one for Newman as Best Actor--his first. Newman had developed, at last, a really impressive acting ability, and a distinctive screen image...

    ...more info
  • Excellence
    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - is excellent film making, I would highly, recommend this film to anyone, who likes Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor,
    Burl Ives etc. ...more info
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof film
    By far, the best film version available. Tennessee Williams helped with the script for this film. ...more info