Val Xavier, a drifter of obscure origins arrives at a small town and gets a job in a store run by Lady Torrence, a sex-starved woman whose husband Jabe M. Torrance is dying of cancer ... See full summary »
An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period ... See full summary »
An actress, a director, and a writer are asked to help revive the career of ruthless Hollywood studio bigwig Jonathan Shields. However, all three are reluctant because they have all been used and betrayed by him in the past.
Val Xavier, a drifter of obscure origins arrives at a small town and gets a job in a store run by Lady Torrence, a sex-starved woman whose husband Jabe M. Torrance is dying of cancer upstairs. Val is pursued by Carol Cutere, the enigmatic local tramp-of-good-family, who covets his snakeskin jacket as much as his body and tries to seduce him in the cemetery. Val is more attracted to the mature Lady and gets her pregnant. Written by
Marlon Brando became the first actor to be paid $1 million for a single film when he signed on to appear in the screen-adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "Orpheus Descending". Nearing the end of her contract with MGM, Elizabeth Taylor had earlier signed a $1 million contract with 20th Century-Fox to appear in 'Cleopatra' (1960), breaking that salary threshold in Hollywood. See more »
Juking? Oh! Well, that's when you get in a car, which is preferably open in any kind of weather. And then you drink a little bit and you drive a little bit, and then you stop and you dance a little bit with a jukebox. And then you drink a little bit more and you drive a little bit more, you stop and you dance a little bit more to another juke box! And then you stop dancing and you just drink and you drive. And then, you stop driving.
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This story flopped as a play and as a film. That's too bad because that happens to be Tennessee Williams' most revealing play about the dark underbelly of racism, violence, vigilantes, lynchings and social injustice in the Deep South. Be warned: This ain't "Gone With the Wind". Its subject matter couldn't have been very popular with American audiences at any time or any place. Even today, Jabe (Hades), the king of the Underworld, where he keeps his Persephone/Eurydice (Lady) prisoner, sounds an awful lot like what George W. Bush will probably sound like in his declining years, uttering curses and maledictions against life, knowledge, science, progress, social change and uppity Negroes. I think the film works because it makes no concession to realism and frankly asserts the story's mythological elements. Lumet, Magnani, Brando, Jory, Stapleton, Armstrong and Woodward make it work and deliver a film and performances that are bigger than life and worthy of the best European art films of the period. Kudos for the set design, the art direction, the music (by Kenyon Hopkins) and the photography. This is a film you can't help but watch in absolute awe at the guts it took.
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