Movies »A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

directed by Richard Brooks (1958)

There’s no modern equivalent to the great Tennessee Williams whose witty melodrama and familial unraveling is always fascinating. So when I am in the mood for some passionate Southern squabbling, nothing fits the bill like A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. (By the way, that’s a mood I do get in fairly often.)

From Burl Ives’ hard hearted Big Daddy to the shrill “Sister Woman” the cast is excellent. But it’s the Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman that really bring the life to the film. And they seriously both look insanely gorgeous. It’s unearthly.

Thank goodness Grace Kelly and Elvis didn’t take the offered roles, neither could capture the fire like these two.

This is one of the best Williams adaptations, second only to Night of the Iguana but it’s definitely not one of the most faithful. The toned down homosexuality enraged Williams who told people not to see the film.

The first time I saw it, I was too naive to understand the subtext (Skipper was just his BFF, right?) I’ve seen it a few times since then but I found it the most heartbreaking this go round. Maybe it just comes with getting older, the pain of life seems more acute, even if it’s just in a broken marriage and a loveless family on screen.

Of course, with Taylor’s recent passing makes this the perfect time to watch or rewatch this classic which is available on Netflix instant.

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Posted on March 27, 2011

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