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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:

Not since "Peyton Place" has a story been told so boldly! 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

Orson Welles always wore a fake nose when he worked, so when he would sweat on this film, his fake nose would slip. Make-up people had to keep applying material to keep the fake nose from falling. See more »

Goofs

When Varner sees Jody digging in the yard looking for so called treasures, Jody hands him a silver dollar and Will says it was minted in 1910. No silver dollars were minted after 1904 until 1921. The coin Ben showed him while at gunpoint was likely a $5 gold piece but Will is definitely holding what looks like a silver dollar. See more »

Quotes

Minnie Littlejohn: Will Varner, I heard you was in that fire!
Will Varner: Simmer down, Minnie. You ain't a rich widow yet.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Long, Hot Summer (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

enjoyable soaper
12 August 2000 | by laffinsalSee all my reviews

I saw this film again last night at an old-time movie palace, in an audience of about 2,000 people. The film, which I had seen before, was even more enjoyable then the previous times I had seen it on TV. For one thing, it has some very lovely and well executed uses of the CinemaScope frame. It shows both the dry openness of the landscape, as well as the lush extravagance of the plantation estate which belongs to Orson Welles' character. I'm not too familiar with Faulkner's stories, but the plot elements of this film flow together rather nicely, and there isn't really a dull moment in the whole picture. The only part which is still difficult for me to take, is the resolution of the conflict between Welles' and Franciosa's characters. That scene builds up to something in a matter of minutes, and then suddenly it's over. I could hear disappointment in some audience members in the theater as well, including one person who shouted "What the heck was that about?". This aside, it's still a worthwhile film to see, and the acting of Newman, Woodward, and Welles are standouts. There are also plenty of (probably unintentional) laughs to be had as well. One of the better soap opera-type films to come out of the late 1950s.


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