Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Mrs.Venable (Katharine Hepburn) finds men for her homosexual son. The mother soon passes on the task to Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor) when her efforts are less successful. The son is confronted by his tormented victims.The film is based on the play by Tennessee Williams with screenplay by Williams and Gore Vidal.
as Catherine Holly
as Mrs. Violet Venable
as Dr. John Cukrowicz
as Mrs. Holly
as Dr. Hockstader
as George Holly
as Mrs. Foxhill
as Nurse Benson
as Sister Felicity
as Dr. Hockstader's Sec...
as Young Blonde Intern
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Critic Reviews for Suddenly, Last Summer
This bizarre and often distasteful movie at the end of the 1950s was an omen of things to come.
Superbly adapted with blistering performances from Taylor and Hepburn.
The main trouble with the picture is not its subject or its style, but its length.
The cast packs enough sexual ambiguity to satisfy the most rabid Williams fan (not to mention a screenplay by Gore Vidal), but Mankiewicz leaves much of the innuendo unexplored -- thankfully, perhaps.
It has some very effective moments, but on the whole it fails to move.
By Tennessee Williams' standards, the text is trashy and overwroght, but at the time, homosexuality and cannibalism stirred such a controversy that the movie became one of the playwright's most successful Hollywood adaptations.
On film, with Taylor as the woman who saw something nasty and Clift as the psychiatrist trying to probe her trauma, the one-act material is stretched perilously thin; but it works for Hepburn as the incarnation of civilised depravity.
Very controversial for its time, and still packs a wallop.
Hepburn and Taylor both earned Oscar nominations for their work; it's hard to pick which turns in a more compelling performance.
The main trouble with this picture is that an idea that is good for not much more than a blackout is stretched to exhausting length and, for all its fine cast and big direction, it is badly, pretentiously played.
Fine version of the story with Hepburn as a fascinating monster.
The battles between the imperious Hepburn and the presumed-mad Taylor are pure theatricality, while sensitive shrink Clift observes it all and emotes.
Audience Reviews for Suddenly, Last Summer
While its premise is surely strange, with Taylor's seclusion and her cousin Sebastian's fate up in the air, this film is still wildly entertaining. Hepburn, a seasoned veteran of the screen, takes on the persona of an unfeeling woman cooped up with a misanthrope, different than any other role she has ever undertaken. Clift is personal, but not dodgy, and the chemistry between him and Taylor is palpable.More
This movie is based on a Tennessee Williams play, and is full of drama, intensity, tension, suspense, and sometimes a bit of confusion, but I think it's really a great movie. The cast has big stars, and a great director too. If you like Williams' plays, you should see this movie.More
Elizabeth Taylor is rapidly becoming my favorite 50s actress, and Tennessee Williams my favorite playwright. I think what's always interesting in these play adaptations is the clash between strong women while the seemingly innocent men are caught in the crossfire. But at the same time, the men might be the most immoral of all given that they play witness to this insanity, and are still able to be bought off. Monty Clift always gave me that feeling. As Kim Morgan would say, THOSE EYES! The ending is totally tacked on, also, and you can't shake the feeling that everybody is still slightly insane.More
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