8.1/10
39,249
153 user 75 critic

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama | 29 August 1958 (USA)
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.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Richard Brooks (screenplay), James Poe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift
East of Eden (1955)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A wilful young man contends against his brother for the attention of their religious father while reconnecting with his estranged mother and falling for his brother's girlfriend.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris
The Hustler (1961)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa
Giant (1956)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean
Hud (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Manhattan call girl has a tragic affair with a rich married man.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Paul Newman, Geraldine Page, Shirley Knight
Cleopatra (1963)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Queen Cleopatra of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
Edit

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
Edit

Storyline

The family of "Big Daddy" Pollitt convenes at his and Big Momma's vast 28,000 acre East Mississippi plantation for his sixty-fifth birthday, although it may as well be for his funeral on the belief that he is dying. Despite his latest medical report being clean, in reality he truly does have terminal colon cancer, something the doctor only tells Big Daddy's two sons, Gooper Pollitt, a lawyer, and Brick Pollitt, who recently left his job as a sportscaster. Brooding Brick and his wife Maggie Pollitt, who have driven up from New Orleans for the occasion, are going through a long rough patch in their marriage. Brick wanted to split, but Maggie convinced him to stay married on the condition that she not pressure him for sex. In their troubles, Brick has turned to the bottle, leading to a drunken incident which has left Brick currently on crutches. Maggie believes Gooper and his wife Mae Pollitt are trying to orchestrate Brick out of Big Daddy's will. Brick and Maggie's saving grace is Big ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every sultry moment of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize Play is now on the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Katze auf dem heißen Blechdach See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,570,324

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,472,824
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avon Productions (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Perspecta Sound®) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

George Cukor turned down MGM's offer to direct the film because the references to Brick's homosexuality had been removed. See more »

Goofs

When Big Daddy and Brick are talking in Brick and Maggie's bedroom about Brick's alcoholism, the audio on one of Big Daddy's lines is, "You'll hear plenty of that in the grave soon enough, but right now we're going to sit down and talk this over." The last three words in this sentence do not match the movement of Big Daddy's mouth. See more »

Quotes

Dixie Pollitt: Why is Uncle Brick on the floor?
Brick Pollitt: Because I tried to kill your Aunt Maggie. But I failed. And I fell.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hero at Large (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Boom, Boom and It Makes Me Crazy
(uncredited)
Adapted by Marguerite Lamkin
Sung by the children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Wonderful Williams - Brilliant Ives
13 June 2004 | by jacksflicksSee all my reviews

Burl Ives gives the greatest portrayal of a literary character in film history, and he wasn't even recognized by an Oscar nomination, further evidence of the Academy's complete lack of credibility as an arbiter of screen excellence.

The casting is brilliant:

Tennessee Williams's Big Daddy was indeed big - larger than life, domineering, insensitive, self-absorbed. Burl Ives's Big Daddy is larger than life, insensitive, domineering, self-absorbed. Ives is "on" every moment. And every moment is true.

Paul Newman's Brick, is as afraid of life as Big Daddy is in love with it. Yet, in his way, he's a chip off the old block - self-absorbed, insensitive.

And domineering or, as Big Daddy and Maggie would have it, masterful, ready to take charge -

if he could just get over himself.

I confess, I don't care for Elizabeth Taylor as an actress, but she is so right for the part, that I can't think of anyone else to fill it. Anyway, who else has eyes that could compete with Newman's?

Judith Anderson plays the typical Williams matron, living in her house of delusions. She's Big Daddy's tormented, desperately lonely, unloved partner, who towards the end wins Big Daddy with her nobility and devotion.

The under-appreciated Jack Carter has the unenviable role of Brick's pliant, conformist brother, Gooper, decent at heart but worn out after years of jumping through Big Daddy's hoops and still winding up on the short end, with a house full of brats, bred at Big Daddy's presumed bidding and delivered by a scheming, ambitious weasel of a wife. Gooper the only character I have a little trouble with, because his climactic speech, as rendered by Carter, is so heartfelt, that we are aggrieved with him at the injustice of Big Daddy's favoritism for the no-account but aesthetically more pleasing Brick.

Perhaps an even more unenviable role is that of Gooper's wife, played to perfection by Madeleine Sherwood. Anyone who has grown up in the South has known "Sister Woman". I can assure those who haven't, that this character is not a stereotype or caricature.

There are a few quibbles. One character, the family doctor, though played well by Larry Gates, has a dramatic function that's about as useful as the referee in a pro wrestling match, but not nearly as decorative. I guess he's included to provide plot information, but I think it could have been provided just as well without him. I was also put off by the contrived thunder claps at dramatic moments. Then, there were some continuity problems, such as different facial expression when shot angles were changed and Gooper's too many "Shut ups" to Sister Woman.

If, as another reviewer has said, Tennessee Williams hated this film, then it couldn't have been because it was untrue to his work. If he disliked the changes and omissions, he should blame '50s prudishness, not the film, for dictating, say, the suppression of Brick's homosexuality.

Williams wrote about lies and delusions, the good ones and bad ones. Well, that's what Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie were all about. Tennessee Williams's stories about the South and its culture of delusion are not just rebukes of Southern hypocrisy and bloodymindedness but paeans to the gentle and genteel refuge which delusion provides. As Maggie "The Cat" says, "Truth, truth - everybody keeps hollerin' about the truth. Well, the truth is as dirty as lies."

Finally, I think it was brilliant of Richard Brooks to insist on color, for Williams's stuff is talky, and with the drabness of a typical Williams set, this can be a bit oppressive. With color, and the wonderful animation Brooks instills in all the characters, his Cat contains not a dull moment. If Brooks has given us something at odds with what Williams intended, I think he has given us something just as fine.


100 of 139 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 153 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed