Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 6,671
In this lush, lurid adaptation of the 1957 Tennessee Williams one-act, Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn play a seemingly insane, young New Orleans debutante and the wealthy aunt who wants to lobotomize her. Dr. John Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) is a gifted Chicago brain surgeon stymied by the primitive operating conditions at the New Orleans asylum where he works. Society matron Violet Venable (Hepburn) offers a solution in the form of a million-dollar grant -- as long as Cukrowicz will
Jan 1, 1959 Wide
Aug 15, 2000
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Mrs. Violet Venable
Dr. John Cukrowicz
Dr. Hockstader's Sec...
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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.
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.
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.
This bizarre and often distasteful movie at the end of the 1950s was an omen of things to come.
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.
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.
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
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