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.
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.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.
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
"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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