MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 933 this week

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,678 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 35 critic

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.

Writers:

(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 24 Aug 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 24 Dec 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Suddenly, Last Summer.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The romantic life of a fashionable Manhattan beauty who's part model, part call-girl--and all man-trap.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A graduating poet/teacher falls in love with a Southern woman, and then the Civil War and her past create problems.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Elephant Walk (1954)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The young bride of a rich planter finds herself the only white woman at Elephant Walk tea plantation, British Ceylon.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch
The Sandpiper (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint
The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Attorney's daughter falls for one of his gangster clients.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: William Powell, Elizabeth Taylor, Fernando Lamas
Giant (1956)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean
The Rainmaker (1956)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lizzie Curry is on the verge of becoming a hopeless old maid. Her wit and intelligence and skills as a homemaker can't make up for the fact that she's just plain plain! Even the town ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Charles returns to Paris to reminisce about the life he led in Paris after it was liberated. He worked on "Stars and Stripes" when he met Marion and Helen. He would marry and be happy ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Marisa Pavan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Dr. Lawrence J. Hockstader
...
...
Mavis Villiers ...
Patricia Marmont ...
Nurse Benson
Joan Young ...
Maria Britneva ...
Lucy
Sheila Robbins ...
Dr. Hockstader's Secretary
David Cameron ...
Young Blonde Interne
Edit

Storyline

A wealthy harridan, Violet Venable, attempts to bribe Dr. Cukrowicz, a young psycho-surgeon from a New Orleans mental hospital that is desperately in need of funds, into lobotomizing her niece, Catherine Holly. Violet wants the operation performed in order to prevent Catherine from defiling the memory of her son, the poet Sebastian. Catherine has been babbling obscenely about Sebastian's mysterious death that she witnessed while on holiday together in Spain the previous summer. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

poet | operation | spain | memory | widow | See All (56) »

Taglines:

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS shocks you again as he transports you to a STRANGE, NEW BOLD WORLD! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De repente en el verano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the French-dubbed version, made in 1960, the name of Katharine Hepburn's character was inexplicably changed from "Violet Venable" to "Valérie Venable". See more »

Goofs

Violet's hand jumps from her neck to her mouth when she tells the doctor that Sebastian had been looking for hungry birds. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Lawrence J. Hockstader: [after Catherine reveals what happened to Sebastian last summer] There's every possibility that the girl's story is true!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Velocity of Gary* *(Not His Real Name) (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Thinly veiled story about the unspeakable!
31 March 2000 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

The moral majority's campaign to censor anything on the movie screen considered too taboo had an incredible impact on Hollywood during the 1930's right through to the 1970's. Censors went through Hollywood scripts, tearing out anything considered unspeakable, no matter how important it was to the plot at hand. It became an art form of sorts, for Hollywood film makers to veil their nasty little subjects so that the censors (who weren't that bright anyway) couldn't find it, but so that a smart audience could. Suddenly Last Summer is a classic example of this art in action.

Tennessee Williams was the toast of Broadway in the 1950's, with his melodramatic plays that often tackled heavy subjects such as addiction, adultery and in the case of this story, homosexuality. Katherine Hepburn plays a classic Tennessee Williams vamp, Violet Venable, a lady of means who is mourning the loss of her son. She has sought the help of a psychiatrist, played by Montgomery Clift, as she would like to have a lobotomy performed on her niece, who is apparently off her rocker (as most of Tennessee Williams' ladies are) and is spouting nasty rumors about the dead son.

Like most of Williams' work, Suddenly Last Summer flows along with over the top dialogue, the kind that actors love to sink their teeth into. I have not seen the original stage play but I suspect that this screenplay has been severely hacked to obliterate any talk of homosexuality. Venable's son was murdered while on vacation in Europe. If you take the dialogue literally you might believe that he was murdered for his religious convictions. If you read between the lines you will see that this was clearly a gay bashing.

Hepburn and Taylor both shine in their roles, that seem almost custom made for them. It's rare that Hepburn is cast as a villain, however, her performance leaves me wondering why she hasn't done it more often. Taylor's hyper-active hyper-ventilating, Catherine Holly works well here. Her own brand of melodramatic acting seems to compliment Williams' work.

Clift was a tad cardboard in his role as the psychiatrist, however, it is still interesting to watch this performance that was filmed after his face-altering car accident. One might think that he recently underwent a lobotomy. On the other hand, he is competent, and the performances of the actresses more than compensate.

Suddenly Last Summer works as a film, but I am hesitant to recommend to everyone. This is not an action flick, by any means, but rather a character piece. Scenes are long and they require your concentration, as important statements can be found between the lines. For fans of any of these actors, this is a must see!


93 of 126 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Can someone explain the sexual bait 'n' switch? miriamwebster
Why is this movie so hard for people to understand? ec1979
Taylor at height of beauty hud9150
Vivien Leigh in Hepburn's part? b3405
the real nature of sebastian wencer
attack erhelin-1
Discuss Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?