The Long, Hot Summer 1958

The Long, Hot Summer

Critics Consensus

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89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,136

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Movie Info

Handsome vagabond Ben Quick (Paul Newman) returns to the Mississippi town his late father called home, but rumors of his dad's pyromaniac tendencies follow him as soon as he sets foot there. The proud young man's determination eventually wins over civic leader Will Varner (Orson Welles), who decides Ben might be just the man for his daughter, Clara (Joanne Woodward) -- much to the displeasure of Will's gutless son (Anthony Franciosa) and Clara's society boyfriend (Richard Anderson).

Cast

Paul Newman
as Ben Quick
Joanne Woodward
as Clara Varner
Orson Welles
as Will Varner
Anthony Franciosa
as Jody Varner
Lee Remick
as Eula Varner
Angela Lansbury
as Minnie Littlejohn
Richard Anderson
as Alan Stewart
Sarah Marshall
as Agnes Stewart
Mabel Albertson
as Mrs. Stewart
George Dunn
as Peabody
Nicholas T. King
as John Fisher
Lee Erickson
as Tom Shortly
Ralph Reed
as J.V. Bookright
Terry Rangno
as Pete Armistead
Steve Widders
as Buddy Peabody
Jim Brandt
as Linus Olds
Helen Wallace
as Mrs. Houstin
Brian Corcoran
as Harry Peabody
Victor Rodman
as Justice of the Peace
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Critic Reviews for The Long, Hot Summer

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (2)

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

    October 1, 2008 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • This picture is strikingly directed by Martin Ritt.

    January 7, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    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).

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The Long, Hot Summer starts superbly and ends in a senseless, flabby heap.

    March 25, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • [An] uneasy blend of three Faulkner short stories.

    July 4, 2003 | Full Review…
  • Based on three stories by William Faulkner, this is a robust and enjoyable comedy-drama about life in a Deep South town dominated by a rascally old millionaire (Orson Welles).

    October 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Long, Hot Summer

  • May 07, 2012
    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 V Super Reviewer
  • Aug 21, 2011
    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. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 10, 2011
    This was very similiar to Cat on A Hot Tin Roof. Rich Southerners and their bruised egos about whether or not Big Daddy loves them.
    Sean G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2011
    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 R Super Reviewer

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