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.
A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away...
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesic, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret which he will do anything to protect, even if that means driving his wife insane.
In Paris, the shy bureaucrat Trelkovsky rents an old apartment without bathroom where the previous tenant, the Egyptologist Simone Choule, committed suicide. The unfriendly concierge (... See full summary »
A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
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
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 »
Oh, Sebastian, what a lovely summer it's been. Just the two of us. Sebastian and Violet. Violet and Sebastian. Just the way it's always going to be. Oh, we are lucky, my darling, to have one another and need no one else ever.
See more »
Superb acting by Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Montgomery Clift spark this nifty adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play. This Southern Gothic tale is worthy of Flannery O'Connor as it pits innocent Catherine against her aunt Violet as they battle over the memory and reality of Sebastian Venable.
With hints of incest and homosexuality along with family jealousies and squabbling, the women go at each other as they each go after the new doctor from Chicago (Clift). Violet wants the girl committed to an asylum where she will be given a lobotomy. The girl battles back as she recalls the real truth about Sebastian. Her greedy family (Mercedes McCambridge, Gary Raymond) are perfectly willing to sacrifice Catherine for a chunk of money. Everyone is a vulture in this story. The asylum is run by another greedy man (Albert Dekker) who only wants Venable money for a new hospital wing.
After Sebastian casts aside mother (Hepburn) for his summer trip and takes Catherine (Taylor), the older woman starts working to get her revenge. But when Sebastian dies, she goes into mourning as well. Complicated story of innuendo and symbol, one is never quite sure what happens to Sebastian who is symbolically eaten by the boys he has sexually preyed on (heavens to Michael Jackson!). But the sight of his death drives Catherine nuts. The mother of course is in denial of every unsavory trait Sebastian possessed.
Brilliant, florid dialog and two wonderful, long soliloquies by Hepburn and Taylor are highlights. The symbolism is fairly obvious but works well within the context of Southern Gothic. All the supporting cast is fine. Taylor and Hepburn earned best actress Oscar nominations. Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, and his partner, Frank Merlo, are in the opening surgery scene. A fascinating story and some great performances.
Special mention must be made of Gore Vidal's brilliant screenplay, expanding the one-act play by Tennessee Williams (who had nothing to do with the screenplay, despite his billing). Vidal perfectly captures the cadence of Williams' speeches and maintains the Gothic mystery Williams was trying for. Vidal lost his chance for an Oscar nomination after the film Catholic Church attacked the film his its implied (gasp!) tale of homosexuality.
20 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?