Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Based on a play by Tennessee Williams, this intense, absorbing drama centers on a wealthy Southern family. Though he doesn't know it, the family father is slowly dying of cancer. However, the other family members are well aware of his imminent demise and have their eyes on his fortune.

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Paul Newman
as Brick Pollitt
Elizabeth Taylor
as Maggie Pollitt
Burl Ives
as Big Daddy Pollitt
Jack Carson
as Gooper Pollitt
Judith Anderson
as Big Mama Pollitt
Madeleine Sherwood
as Mae Pollitt
Larry Gates
as Dr. Baugh
Vaughan Taylor
as Deacon Davis
Patty Ann Gerrity
as Dixie Pollitt
Rusty Stevens
as Sonny Pollitt
Hugh Corcoran
as Buster Pollitt
Deborah Miller
as Trixie Pollitt
Brian Corcoran
as Boy Pollitt
Tony Merrill
as Party Guest
Jeane Wood
as Party Guest
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Critic Reviews for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (5)

A formaldehyded tabby that sits static while layer after layer of its skin is peeled off, life after life of its nine lives unsentimentally destroyed.

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

An intense, important motion picture.

April 8, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Burl Ives and Judith Anderson are highly entertaining as the nightmare parents, Big Daddy and Big Mama, and Jack Carson has one of his last good roles as Newman's competitive older brother.

April 8, 2008 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

As so often with adaptations of Williams, it frequently errs on the side of overstatement and pretension, but still remains immensely enjoyable as a piece of cod-Freudian codswallop.

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

What a pack of trashy people these accomplished actors perform!

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman, both gorgeous beyond measure, strike sparks as the sexually unfulfilled Maggie and her tortured husband Brick, while Burl Ives is sensational as the family patriarch Big Daddy.

September 17, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

I recently read this play for college, so I figured I might as well watch the film since it was nominated for so many Oscars back in the day and had such big stars in it. I was pretty disappointed to find that this adaption is lacking some of the elements that make the play compelling. The acting is inconsistent with really only Elizabeth Taylor impressing me really. Paul Newman and Burl Ives both got acclaim for their portrayals, but I didn't find them to be anything special. The film doesn't have very good pacing either. I was very disappointed to find the homosexuality elements completely eliminated because it made the story really intriguing and gave it an element of surprise that is lacking in this film. It does get the relationship between Big Daddy and Brick right and I genuinely liked their conversations, but not much else impressed me. Elizabeth Taylor had her breakout role and I thought she was really good in this, but it could have been better.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

This heavy classic drama is masterpiece! This is a relationship full of confusion, betrayal, honesty, dishonesty, love, desire, and trust. Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor are both brilliant as Brick and Maggie Pollitt, respectively. Not very often is there a screen couple that have the same chemistry together that they do. This is not to say the supporting cast isn't excellent. Burl Ives is superb in a supporting role as Big Daddy, a man who's greatest concern is having his legacy live on after him. The sequence with Ives and Newman in the basement of the house remains one of the most incredible displays of acting I have ever seen. I love the story, the acting, the magnificent script and the depth of the characters.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

The only reason I can speak about Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in anything other than stammering ums and drool puddles is because Elizabeth Taylor wasn't in every single scene. I know that hadn't looked even close to this good for over 40 years before her passing, but she has rarely, if ever, looked better. Despite the obvious distractions, the entire cast was great and if it weren't for Ms. Taylor slinking around in that white dress, Burl Ives in all of his cantankerous magnificence and loathing for his grandkids would've stole the show. Despite this incredibly altered version of the story and Tennessee Williams' disdain for it, I like this version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Because Maggie the cat certainly didn't hurt...

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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