8.0/10
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171 user 79 critic

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama | 29 August 1958 (USA)
Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor). His reunion with his father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Richard Brooks (screenplay), James Poe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Maggie Pollitt
Paul Newman ... Brick Pollitt
Burl Ives ... Big Daddy Pollitt
Jack Carson ... Gooper Pollitt
Judith Anderson ... Big Momma Pollitt
Madeleine Sherwood ... Mae Pollitt
Larry Gates ... Dr. Baugh
Vaughn Taylor ... Deacon Davis
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Storyline

The family of "Big Daddy" Pollitt (Burl Ives) convenes at his and Big Momma's (Dame Judith Anderson's). Among the attendees is alcoholic son, Brick (Paul Newman); an ex-football player, who spends his time drinking and avoiding the ministries of his libidinous wife, Maggie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) - "the cat". As this gathering isn't so much as a gathering but a farewell (Big Daddy is terminally ill) a lot of memories and revelations which had been hidden come to the surface of both father and son. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is Maggie the Cat... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Newman and Dame Judith Anderson appeared on Playhouse 90 (1956). See more »

Goofs

In the first bedroom scene with Brick and Maggie, as Maggie grabs an ice cube the front door on the phonograph/radio console suddenly closes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Look, Mama, he's wearing Brick's birthday present. I haven't given you my present yet, but I will now. I have an announcement to make.
Mae Pollitt: What kind of an announcement?
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: An announcement of life beginning. A child is coming, sired by Brick out of Maggie the cat. I have Brick's child in my body, and that is my present to you.
Mae Pollitt: Did you ever in all your born days hear such a bold-faced lie?
Gooper Pollitt: Shut up.
Ida 'Big Momma' Pollitt: [kissing Maggie] Thank you. Thank you very much.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Yes indeed, this girl has life in her body. And that's no ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Veep: Andrew (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Skina Marinka
(uncredited)
Adapted by Marguerite Lamkin
Sung by the children
See more »

User Reviews

 
Toned down from the play but still powerful
27 December 2008 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

"Big Daddy" (Burl Ives) the powerful head of a Southern family is dying. His two sons--alcoholic Brick (Paul Newman) and annoying Cooper (Jack Carson)--are there with their wives to celebrate his birthday. Cooper and his wife want everything. Brick doesn't seem to care but his wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor) tries to make him care--and can't understand why he won't make love to her.

I saw the play back in 1990 with Kathleen Turner and Charles Durning (who won a Tony). It was great but very long (at least 3 hours) and the once shocking subject matter was very tame. This movie cut the play quite a bit but they had to--the Hays Code was still in effect. The language was toned down and all mention of Brick's homosexuality and Big Daddy having cancer was cut out. Still they get it across. Brick's relationship with Skipper is hinted at STRONGLY without actually saying it was physical and what Big Daddy is dying of is never made clear but they say it's terminal. That aside this is still strong and pretty powerful. The acting really pulls this one through. Newman, Taylor and Judith Anderson (as "Big Mama") are great but Ives played this on stage (and won a Tony) so he has his part down pat and really gives it his all. He dominates every scene he's in. Script wise this is tame. The situations are predictable and the resolutions are far too pat for me. But the acting is so good I really didn't notice while watching it. Also this is the only film Taylor and Newman ever did together. That's a shame because they had incredible chemistry and were easily two of the best (and best-looking) actors of the 1950s. Well worth seeing--cuts aside. I give this an 8.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avon Productions (II) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Perspecta Sound®) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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