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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:

A story of the Modern South! 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

The name Ben Quick also pops up as a saw mill owner in the Playhouse 90 production of "Tomorrow", based upon another Faulkner story. See more »

Goofs

When Will Varner drives through town in the ambulance he covers some of the same distance and passes the same parked car twice. See more »

Quotes

Wilk: That Ben Quick, he sure is a comer.
Harris: Yep. Name suits him, alright. First into that farm, then into the store, now int the house. And all he started with was a book of matches.
Houston: I wish I was Ben Quick. He's got this h'yere whole state of Mississippi to graze on.
Minor Role: Yeah, but if you should happen to go to see him on business, go out nekkid. That way you won't feel the cold comin' back.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shower of Stars: Episode #4.7 (1958) 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

A masterpiece of fluff
27 June 1999 | by hbsSee all my reviews

This is one of the great guilty pleasure movies. Orson Welles, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward are all wonderful, and the supporting cast is just fine. The plot is delightfully incoherent, and everyone gets a chance to chew on the scenery. As a big fan of Faulkner, I find the way the screenwriters have jumbled together characters, themes and episodes from various books especially entertaining (although the sensibilities of the characters are more Tennessee Williams, or Tennessee Tuxedo even, than Faulkner, which just adds to the pleasure).

The producer was Jerry Wald, and this has the look and feel that is (at least to me) characteristic of his movies.


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