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.
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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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
When Paul Newman agreed to play the role of Brick, he was under the impression the film would simply adapt the original script into a screenplay. When the screenplay deviated wildly from the stage text over Tennessee Williams' objections, Newman expressed his disappointment. See more »
In the opening scene, Brick is at a sports field bearing the sign "East Mississippi High School Athletic Stadium." Later in the film, after a storm, one of the characters states that the rain has "moved across the river to Arkansas." That implies that Big Daddy's plantation is somewhere close to the Mississippi River, which run along the edge of western Mississippi. References to Gooper's law practice in Memphis and the 28,000 acres of rich land also indicate a plantation in the Mississippi Delta country, along the river in northwest Mississippi, rather than the eastern part of the state. See more »
"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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