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The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 May 1958 (West Germany)
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2:37 | Trailer
Accused barn burner and conman Ben Quick (Paul Newman) 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 ... 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 (Orson Welles), in ill health, owns many businesses and property in Frenchman's Bend, Mississippi, including a plantation. To him, his children are a disappointment, 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 (Anthony Francoisa) has no ambition and does not work, spending much of his time fooling around with his seductive wife, Eula (Lee Remick). He finds twenty-three-year-old daughter Clara (Joanne Woodward) 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 (Richard Anderson), 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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The red-hot lowdown on a southern family...that people talked about in whispers ! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During post-production, Director Martin Ritt found that it was nearly impossible to understand any of Orson Welles' dialogue. He and his team worked overtime to improve what they could through post-dubbing. Some cast members thought that Welles had done it quite deliberately as a way to show contempt for the "mumbling" method actors of the Actors Studio, but no one could ever be sure. 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 between 1904 and 1921. The coin Ben showed him while at gunpoint was likely a $5 gold piece but Will is holding what looks like a silver dollar. See more »

Quotes

Alan Stewart: My people have stood off Indians, Yankees, carpetbaggers. The least they could expect of me is to stand up to a Varner.
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 »

User Reviews

 
Debut for legendary screen team
15 April 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Long Hot Summer is chiefly noted for the fact that Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward made their joint cinematic debut in this film. One of Hollywood's best personal and professional partnerships, Joanne had won a Best Actress Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve the year before and it took Paul thirty more years to match it for their mantelpiece in The Color of Money.

Based on some William Faulkner short stories, The Long Hot Summer commences when Joanne Woodward and Lee Remick, daughter and daughter-in-law of local patriarch Orson Welles give drifter Paul Newman a lift into town. Woodward's a repressed school teacher and Welles despairs of her finding a suitable match.

Because he started dirt poor and worked his way up to the top, Welles takes a liking to Newman and pushes, a little too hard for Newman and Woodward to team up. That's not sitting real well with Anthony Franciosa who is Welles's son and sees Newman displacing him in the family pecking order.

In fact my favorite in the film is Franciosa, he usually is in any film he's in. When he's on the screen, you don't pay attention to anyone else, not even Orson Welles.

Welles borrows a bit from Tennessee Williams's Big Daddy Pollitt from the Paul Newman film the year before, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. His Will Varner though is a bit softer around the edges, also lends itself more easily to caricature. I think the creators of The Dukes of Hazzard used Welles in The Long Hot Summer as their model for Boss Hogg.

In fact it's interesting to see the contrast in The Long Hot Summer and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. It's obvious to me that William Faulkner liked the people of Mississippi a whole lot more than the southerners that are in Tennessee Williams's work.

Almost fifty years later, The Long Hot Summer is still enjoyable viewing and still may be the best of Paul and Joanne's joint ventures.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 1958 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Long, Hot Summer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jerry Wald Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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