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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:

The People of Faulkner...the language of Faulkner...the world of Faulkner! 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 title song for the series, "The Long, Hot Summer" (performed by Jimmie Rodgers and written by Sammy Cahn and Alex North) was also used as the title song in the 1965 TV series of the same name featuring Roy Thinnes and Nancy Malone. 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

Eula: Why, you sound free as a bird. Don't he sound free as a bird?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Backstory: The Long, Hot Summer (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Now even better
17 December 2006 | by caa821See all my reviews

This is one of those films which is now even better, as it nears a half-century since its original release.

The characters and performances are just as enjoyable to view today - the young Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, vintage Orson Welles - and Tony Franciosa and Lee Remick (along with Orson, both now gone).

The other actors' performances were also excellent, and the characters remain as interesting today as in times past.

Newman's "Ben Quick" fuses the characteristics of both "hero" and "anti-hero" into one role as profoundly as virtually any other film or stage character you're apt to see.

The nostalgia of a work such as this, now seen anew after so many years since production, is something added which only the requisite passage of time enables one to view and enjoy.

In the company of other authors in this genre, such as Caldwell, Steinbeck, Williams, et al, Faulkner's works were among the best, and this is clearly revealed in this fine film.

If I were required to find an area to criticize, it would be the same as I noticed in one of the comments on this site: namely, the somewhat overly-quick and brief "resolution" of the estrangement between Welles and Franciosa, the impatient patriarch and his older child/son. I realize this brevity may have been due to neither Newman nor Woodward being involved - but the writers and director could still have made it a bit more detailed and intricate, with only, say, another two minutes of film. But this aside, this is a superb motion picture - both then and now.


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