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The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  18 May 1958 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,982 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 31 critic

Accused barn burner and con man Ben Quick arrives in a small Mississippi town and quickly ingratiates himself with its richest family, the Varners.



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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story of the Modern South! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 May 1958 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Les feux de l'été  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm optical prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On Orson Welles's chair in his study there is a spoked wheel. When he and Newman are playing cards, in the background it is lit to emphasize this feature. It looks like a movie reel. See more »


Clara: Barn burner!
See more »


Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »


The Long, Hot Summer
Performed by Jimmie Rodgers
Written by Sammy Cahn and Alex North
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The mythic South
2 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Long, Hot Summer is what movies are all about. Newman is so sexy it's no wonder that Agnes pleads with her friend Clara not to send this handsome stranger away too fast, even if he's a sewing machine salesman. Joanne Newman as Clara looks beautiful with her blonde hair pulled back tight and a little half twist to her hips when she walks.

Although some reviewers have said this film is more Tennesse Williams than Faulkner, Clara does not resemble Williams' tragic heroines who are mired in the past. She is mightily tempted by Newman's Ben Quick, the "modern man," who advises her than the world is ruled by the meat-eaters. It is Clara who makes their first tryst possible and though it ends with angry words, it is obvious these two are meant for each other.

Will Varner, played over-the-top by Orson Welles, is Clara's father. He owns everything in town and figures his holdings extend to his daughter. He wants sons to carry on his name and Ben Quick looks like the man for his Clara.

The movie creates a town that feels as though it will live on after the film is over and people who relate to each other as if there was no camera present. Granted it's not the real South but the mythic South. Sex goes hand in hand with the dust and the heat. Aristocratic blood is running thin. A handsome "bull" of a stranger appears to liven things up. Newman swings his battered old suitcase with the confidence of a man who knows he'll soon be sleeping on satin sheets.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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