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
The allusion to Herman Melville and the Galapagos islands refers to the "The Encantadas or Enchanted Isles", a series of "sketches," or short prose works, about the Galapagos Islands written primarily from Melville's own experience sailing around the islands. See more »
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 »
Catherine Holly, played by the indelible Elizabeth Taylor,is a woman whose conscience and memory continue to cast a foreboding shadow. Enshrouded in her memory is the unforgettable realization to which she came, suddenly last summer. Katherine Hepburn plays somewhat of a southern anchoress, Mrs. Violet Venable,whose only repose comes from memorializing her late son Sebastian in the fantastic jungalesque garden he created. On the surface Sebastian seems pensive, sincere, and wise; however, Holly knows a secret, a disturbing secret about the late Sebastian that Mrs. Venable must suppress at all costs. It remains in the hands of Dr. Cukrowicz, Montgomery Clift, to extract this secret from Holly's memory, before the secret is lost forever. I enjoyed this movie, and it kept my attention even though I had read the play I knew the outcome. It is another fine story from the mind of Tennessee Williams. The movie sticks to the play unlike other Williams' movies, like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The only problem is that like so many other Tennesse Williams'stories, depravity and decadence are central themes, which make it difficult at times to really like any characters or develop a fondness for the story itself.
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