The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
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as Ben Quick
as Clara Varner
as Will Varner
as Jody Varner
as Eula Varner
as Minnie Littlejohn
as Alan Stewart
as Agnes Stewart
as Mrs. Stewart
as John Fisher
as Tom Shortly
as J.V. Bookright
as Pete Armistead
as Buddy Peabody
as Linus Olds
as Mrs. Houstin
as Harry Peabody
as Justice of the Peace
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Critic Reviews for The Long, Hot Summer
Newman's performance as Ben Quick, before the script blunts it, is as mean and keen as a cackle-edge scythe.
The ending is an unconvincing cop out, but it can't spoil the film's compulsive dramatic tension (or a marvellous comic cameo from Angela Lansbury as Welles' long-suffering mistress).
The Long, Hot Summer starts superbly and ends in a senseless, flabby heap.
Audience Reviews for The Long, Hot Summer
Was hoping for the same magic that Ritt and Newman conjured up with the absolutely stellar "Hud." Instead, I got a fairly dry love story and a couple hours of Orson Welles mercilessly chewing the scenery.
A small town down south in Mississippi and a bit o'nothing of a man runs into a bit o'nothing of a family, newly well to do: can they rise above their collective class status (redneck) and not kill each other, even learn to love one another? But now I've gone and given away everything.
The traveling loner looking for a break is Newman, Big Daddy is Welles (chewing everything in sight), while Woodward, Remick and Lansbury perfect their sugary eye flutters. Fans of the stars will enjoy.
It's funny that this is an adaptation of William Faulkner because it feels way more like a Tennessee Williams adaptation with all of the same quirks and characters. However, there is considerably less drinking in this so it definitely can't be something connected to Tennessee Williams. There is so much color in this that it is almost hard to fathom at times, being reminiscent of Gone with the Wind in that respect. Paul Newman conquers the screen as Ben Quick. Theoretically you should hate him and what he stands for, but Paul Newman plays him so charming and flawless that you end up loving the guy. Joanne Woodward also gives a great performance and it's one of her best characters next to Carol in The Fugitive Kind. I think everyone can acknowledge that Orson Welles hammed his character up to no end, but failed to steal the show.
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