7.6/10
12,536
134 user 44 critic

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | January 1960 (USA)
Trailer
2:43 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (play), Gore Vidal (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A student falls in love with a Southern belle, but their relationship is complicated by her troubled past and the onset of the Civil War.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Manhattan call girl has a tragic affair with a rich married man.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
The Heiress (1949)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Giant (1956)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Catherine Holly
Katharine Hepburn ... Mrs. Venable
Montgomery Clift ... Dr. Cukrowicz
Albert Dekker ... Dr. Hockstader
Mercedes McCambridge ... Mrs. Holly
Gary Raymond ... George Holly
Mavis Villiers ... Miss Foxhill
Patricia Marmont Patricia Marmont ... Nurse Benson
Joan Young Joan Young ... Sister Felicity
Maria Britneva ... Lucy
Sheila Robins Sheila Robins ... Dr. Hockstader's Secretary (as Sheila Robbins)
David Cameron David Cameron ... Young Blonde Interne
Edit

Storyline

A wealthy harridan, Violet Venable, attempts to bribe Dr. Cukrowicz, a young psycho-surgeon from a New Orleans mental hospital that is desperately in need of funds, into lobotomizing her niece, Catherine Holly. Violet wants the operation performed in order to prevent Catherine from defiling the memory of her son, the poet Sebastian. Catherine has been babbling obscenely about Sebastian's mysterious death that she witnessed while on holiday together in Spain the previous summer. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The One They're All Talking About! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Plötzlich im letzten Sommer See more »

Filming Locations:

Begur, Girona, Catalonia, Spain See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,897,500
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The last of three films that Elizabeth Taylor made with Montgomery Clift, following A Place in the Sun (1951) and Raintree County (1957). See more »

Goofs

Clift mispronounces his penultimate line: "Mrs Venable?" as "Mrs Venerable?". See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Venable: She suffers from something called dementia praecox.
Dr. Cukrowicz: Dementia praecox?
Mrs. Venable: Which is say, she's mad as a hatter, poor child.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Rich Hall's the Dirty South (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Powerful stuff (for the time) with a great performance from Hepburn
12 November 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

New Orleans, 1937. Doctor Cukrowicz is summoned to the home of Violet Venable, he is encouraged to go by his father who sees a ripe opportunity to get a significant amount of funding directly out of the rich widow. Venable tells Cukrowicz of her niece, Catherine, who has been diagnosed as having a mental disease that causes her to have outbursts etc. She wants Cukrowicz to carry out a lobotomy on Kathryn without question. However Cukrowicz meets with Catherine and finds her trapped behind memories that she won't let herself remember. He tries to draw out whatever her stepmother is so desperate to have cut out.

I watched this with no prior knowledge of what it was about or any of the hidden themes that are brought out after viewing. I suspect I was able to come to it `clean' as a result. The plot starts simply and I wasn't sure where it was going. Then Mrs Venable is introduced and we learn of her desire to have Catherine lobotomised. This is followed by the question what happened to Sebastion (Venable's son) that has sent Catherine mad and sent Mrs Venable to the point where she wants to cut it out of her memory. This question looms large over the film and is very effective in driving the plot forward.

The clues are given all along to what a messed up situation the whole thing is and the final 15 minutes are powerful despite some weaknesses. The plot has talked up the romance part of the film between Catherine and Dr Cukrowicz, I assume to try and cover the unpleasant business and make it easier on a fifties audience, this takes away a little bit but didn't distract me too much from the central tale.

Hepburn is magnificent in her role and her opening scene does much to captivate you for the rest of the movie. Taylor is good but at times feels too polished to be in her character's predicament. Clift was too stale for me and didn't really stand out when placed beside these two actresses going hell for leather for their roles.

Overall I enjoyed this film. The tension of the central questions is built on well with mystery and dark secrets hinted at constantly. The underlying themes add to it but you don't lose anything if you don't see them and the dark secret is powerful and meaningful even if it must do well by the censors of the day. Glad I stumbled onto it.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 134 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed