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The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  18 May 1958 (West Germany)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,833 users  
Reviews: 51 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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Title: The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Sarah Marshall ...
Mabel Albertson ...
Elizabeth Stewart
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Bill Walker ...
Lucius (as William Walker)
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Storyline

Sixty-one year old widower Will Varner, in ill health, owns many businesses and property in Frenchman's Bend, Mississippi, including a plantation. To him, his children are a disappointment, they who he sees as not being able to carry on the Varner name in the style to which he has built around it. Son Jody Varner has no ambition and does not work, spending much of his time fooling around with his seductive wife, Eula. Twenty-three year old daughter Clara Varner he finds clever, but he feels she also wastes her time on more contemplative pursuits. While most of her contemporaries are married, Clara has been dating Alan Stewart, a genteel mama's boy, for six years. Will would not mind Alan so much if he too thought Alan had a bit of a forceful man in him, which he could demonstrate by actually asking Clara to marry him. Conversely, Jody laments that nothing he does is ever good enough for his father, while Clara plain does not like the way he treats them. Into their lives comes Ben ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Not since "Peyton Place" has a story been told so boldly! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1958 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Les feux de l'été  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward channelled their off-screen chemistry into their characters and worked beautifully together. "They seemed to have such a total understanding of each other," said co-star Angela Lansbury in a 2001 interview, "that they were able to work in scenes where they were at each other's throats or falling under each other's spell." See more »

Quotes

Will Varner: Can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you sure can teach a young willing puppy just about anything.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Home Improvement: Reel Men (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Sympathetic Disappointment
28 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Considering the cast and the fine Faulkner story, I was expecting wonderful things from this movie, maybe another Splendor in the Grass, but I felt badly let down.

The script was, in a word, wretched. There were unmotivated strong emotions, stilted dialog, not helped by poorly faked Southern accents from players who are not not native Southerners, loaded with plot holes and murky relationships that seemed to go up and down like the stock market.

The cast that looked so good on paper didn't cut it. Anthony Franciosa looked like high school senior play. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who went on to Academy Award performances later, were just over the top and struggling with bad dialog in this one. I thought Orson Welles and Angela Lansbury were was excellent playing off each other, but their relationship in a subplot was undefined and didn't advance the story at all.

My family, with different generations, watched the movie at home on DVD with me and their reaction was similar to mine: a sympathetic disappointment in the work of some of our favorite players.


8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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