7.5/10
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57 user 34 critic

The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 May 1958 (West Germany)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Sarah Marshall ...
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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

Taglines:

NOTHING - BUT NOTHING !...WILL BE WITHHELD!...when this searing expose of this Southern family comes boldly to the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During post-production, Martin Ritt found that it was nearly impossible to understand any of Orson Welles' dialogue. He and his team worked overtime to improve what they could through post-dubbing. Some cast members thought that Welles had done it quite deliberately as a way to show contempt for the "mumbling" method actors of the Actors Studio, but no one could ever be sure. See more »

Goofs

When Will Varner drives through town in the ambulance he covers some of the same distance and passes the same parked car twice. See more »

Quotes

Ben: Well, I'll be damned.
Will Varner: More than probable, you will be. But first, you're going to church and get married, yeah, to my daughter.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in That Most Important Thing: Love (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

The Long, Hot Summer
Performed by Jimmie Rodgers
Written by Sammy Cahn and Alex North
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Frettin' and begettin' in long-ago Mississippi
7 July 2007 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Paul Newman as a drifter stud, Joanne Woodward as a 23-year-old spinster (!), and Orson Welles as a rich blow-hard are the main treats of this adaptation of two William Faulkner short stories concerning boyish troublemaker who arrives in small river-front town and immediately moves up the ladder to success (he ain't named Ben Quick for nothing!). Newman attempts to woo "old maid" Woodward while working for her wealthy father, who has the entire town under his thumb. Welles, looking like Jackie Gleason and enjoyably hamming it up, is a lot of fun, yet the most interesting relationship in the film is between Newman and Welles' son, Anthony Franciosa, who feels his position in the family is being usurped by an outsider (it is!). Some of the writing is unnecessarily flowery, particularly with Lee Remick in the beginning, but the characters do become stronger in the second act, although the plot never thickens beyond your standard radio play of the day. **1/2 from ****


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