Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
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The fifth Tennessee Williams play to reach the screen, wealthy Mississippi plantation owner Big Daddy Pollitt, unaware that he's dying of cancer and disturbed by the strained and childless marriage of his favored alcoholic son Brick and his other son, Gooper, whose wife is about to bring forth another in the endless line of little "no-neck monsters," celebrates his sixty-fifth birthday with his family. Brick's wife, Maggie, beautiful and desirable, tries unsuccessfully to coax her husband away from the bottle, while alternately enticing him and taunting him about his obsession with his deceased best friend and the guilt about their relationship. The seamy tensions reach a climax when the truth of Big Daddy's health is revealed, and he and Brick manage to resolve their differences. Written by
The original stage play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams premiered at the Morosco Theater in New York on March 24, 1955 and ran for 694 performances. It was nominated for the 1956 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play. Elia Kazan directed the production, and amongst the replacement cast members during its long run was Jack Lord as "Brick". See more »
When Doc Baugh comes upstairs to tell Brick about Big Daddy's real condition, he examines Brick's leg and discusses football with him. In the course of that conversation, Brick alludes to a game played against "Bama State", meaning Alabama State. Bama State (Alabama State) is a historically black university in Montgomery. During the 1950s, Brick's college (presumably Ole Miss) would not have been allowed to play a historically black college. The choice of "Bama State" by the writers was a factual mistake, in that such a game could not have occurred under any circumstances in that era. See more »
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt:
We've still got one thing on our side. No, two things. Are my seams straight? Big Daddy dotes on you, Brick. He can't stand Brother Man and Brother Man's wife. That fertility monster, she's downright odious to him, I can tell. That's the second thing we've got on our side. He likes me. The way he looks me up and down and over, he's still got an eye for girls.
That kind of talk is disgusting.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt:
Did anybody ever tell you you're a back-aching Puritan, Brick? I think it's a fine thing that a man on ...
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"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is quite brilliant. Even though it's an adaptation of a play it's never boring. Of course, it's impossible to make a film based on a play that isn't 'talky,' but Brooks has managed to make a film that is fascinating and interesting despite the theatrical feel. It helps that the cast is uniformly sensational! Elizabeth Taylor, Burl Ives, and -- especially -- Paul Newman. This film is not quite as good as another adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play, "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Elia Kazan, but it comes pretty close. (9/10)
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