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The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 May 1958 (West Germany)
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Accused barn burner and con man Ben Quick arrives in a small Mississippi town and quickly ingratiates himself with its richest family, the Varners.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

William Faulkner (novel), Irving Ravetch (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Newman ... Ben Quick
Joanne Woodward ... Clara Varner
Anthony Franciosa ... Jody Varner
Orson Welles ... Will Varner
Lee Remick ... Eula Varner
Angela Lansbury ... Minnie Littlejohn
Richard Anderson ... Alan Stewart
Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall ... Agnes Stewart
Mabel Albertson ... Elizabeth Stewart
J. Pat O'Malley ... Ratliff
Bill Walker ... Lucius (as William Walker)
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Storyline

Sixty-one year old widower Will Varner, in ill health, owns many businesses and property in Frenchman's Bend, Mississippi, including a plantation. To him, his children are a disappointment, they who he sees as not being able to carry on the Varner name in the style to which he has built around it. Son Jody Varner has no ambition and does not work, spending much of his time fooling around with his seductive wife, Eula. Twenty-three year old daughter Clara Varner he finds clever, but he feels she also wastes her time on more contemplative pursuits. While most of her contemporaries are married, Clara has been dating Alan Stewart, a genteel mama's boy, for six years. Will would not mind Alan so much if he too thought Alan had a bit of a forceful man in him, which he could demonstrate by actually asking Clara to marry him. Conversely, Jody laments that nothing he does is ever good enough for his father, while Clara plain does not like the way he treats them. Into their lives comes Ben ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NOTHING - BUT NOTHING !...WILL BE WITHHELD!...when this searing expose of this Southern family comes boldly to the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 1958 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Der lange heiße Sommer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,853,700, 31 December 1958
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jerry Wald Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The success of the film helped Martin Ritt reestablish himself as a major director following his 5-year blacklisting from Hollywood. See more »

Goofs

When Will Varner drives through town in the ambulance he covers some of the same distance and passes the same parked car twice. See more »

Quotes

Ben: Put them things down, Miss Clara, 'cause I'm gonna kiss you. I'm gonna show you how simple it is. You please me, and I'll please you.
[Attempts to kiss Clara, but she slaps him across the face]
Ben: [chuckles] Oh, I know what's troublin' you. It's all those boys hollerin' for Eula every night. And Eula with her hair hangin' down and Jody with his shirt off chasin' her. And your old man at 60 and he's callin' on his lady love.
[Bends down to kiss Clara, and she makes no resistance]
Clara: All right, you proved...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shower of Stars: Episode #4.7 (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

The Long, Hot Summer
Performed by Jimmie Rodgers
Written by Sammy Cahn and Alex North
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Faulkner hell! We're in Williams country...
3 July 2008 | by dish55See all my reviews

...and loving it! This movie takes the best of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, SUMMER AND SMOKE, throws in more than a dollop of William Inge's PICNIC, borrows the basket auctioning bit from OKLAHOMA! and the digging-for-treasure-by-the-old-collapsing-house subplot from GOD'S LITTLE ACRE - hell, we even get a variation on the cotton gin burning from BABY DOLL - and somehow delivers an original and unforgettable entertainment, the kind of movie they truly don't make any more. Every member of the cast is superb, with Woodward being a standout and Lee Remmick being gorgeous. How audiences must have swooned in 1958! How many people left the theater thinking they had seen something truly naughty and adult! This film has great dialog, atmosphere to spare, stunning yet understated costumes by Adele Palmer, and gorgeous cinematography. This is all tied together by another fine Alex North score. Check out the scene - lasting no more that 45 seconds - when Newman and Woodward cross a small bridge to share a picnic lunch. This music cue is magical. Jerry Wald produced many high-class soap operas at Fox during the late 1950's, but this one is by far the best. Lansbury shines, Welles hams, and Newman takes his shirt off - what more could an audience ask for? A dreamy title tune crooned over the credits? You got it!


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