The Long, Hot Summer (1958)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

While often regarded as one of America's greatest novelists, William Faulkner produced work that did not always translate well to the screen; it's ironically appropriate that this movie, based on several of Faulkner's short stories, is often regarded as one of the best films based on his work, though not especially accurate to the original source material. Ben Quick (Paul Newman), a sullen but self-confident drifter, arrives in a small Mississippi town where his father had a bad reputation as a … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: William Faulkner, Frank Harriet,, Harriet Frank, Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr. / Irving Ravetch
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 20, 2003
20th Century Fox


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 Peabody

as Wilk

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 Harris

as Justice of the Peace
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Long, Hot Summer

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Critic Reviews for The Long, Hot Summer

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Newman's performance as Ben Quick, before the script blunts it, is as mean and keen as a cackle-edge scythe.

Full Review… | October 1, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This picture is strikingly directed by Martin Ritt.

Full Review… | January 7, 2008
Top Critic

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).

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The Long, Hot Summer starts superbly and ends in a senseless, flabby heap.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

[An] uneasy blend of three Faulkner short stories.

Full Review… | July 4, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This small-town family melodrama, a quintessential 1950s film in its themes and tensions, is well acted by Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Lee Remick.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011

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.

Reid Volk

Super Reviewer


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.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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