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.
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.
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
This film was an adaptation of a one-act play by Tennessee Williams that was originally performed Off-Broadway on a double bill with another one-act play by Tennessee Williams, "Something Unspoken". The double bill was presented under the title of "Garden District" and opened on January 7, 1958 at the York Playhouse in New York. The original stage production of "Suddenly, Last Summer" starred Anne Meacham as Catherine, Hortense Alden as Mrs. Venable, and Alan Mixon as George Holly. This same double bill of one-act plays was presented on Broadway, again under the title "Garden District", in 1995. This production starred Elizabeth Ashley as Mrs. Venable, Jordan Baker as Catherine and Mitchell Lichtenstein as George Holly. This version opened Oct 10, 1995 at the Circle in the Square Theater and ran for 31 performances. See more »
The doctor's hands change position when he tells Hockstader that he needs more time. See more »
This film should have earned Taylor her first Oscar
"Suddenly, Last Summer" brought Elizabeth Taylor her third Oscar nomination, and she probably should have won (though winner Simone Signoret's performance in "Room at the Top" was also outstanding). Taylor is awesome in this film ----- most notably in the final twenty minutes, which she virtually dominates. This entire scene was reportedly shot in one take, which makes sense, since the character begins with a narrative and gradually builds to an emotionally shattering climax. Taylor's previous film, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", was also Oscar caliber, but this performance is even more impressive. The 1960 Oscar for "Butterfield 8" was probably a consolation prize for the Oscar she should have received for either of these two previous films.
36 of 53 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?