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 »
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.
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.
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
...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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