Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Suddenly, Last Summer Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

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.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 15, 2000
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Elizabeth Taylor
as Catherine Holly
Katharine Hepburn
as Mrs. Violet Venable
Montgomery Clift
as Dr. John Cukrowicz
Albert Dekker
as Dr. Hockstader
Gary Raymond
as George Holly
Mavis Villiers
as Mrs. Foxhill
Patricia Marmont
as Nurse Benson
Joan Young
as Sister Felicity
Sheila Robbins
as Dr. Hockstader's Sec...
David Cameron
as Young Blonde Intern
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Suddenly, Last Summer

Critic Reviews for Suddenly, Last Summer

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

The main trouble with the picture is not its subject or its style, but its length.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It has some very effective moments, but on the whole it fails to move.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

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.

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

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.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This bizarre and often distasteful movie at the end of the 1950s was an omen of things to come.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Suddenly, Last Summer


A psychologist investigates the emotional problems of a woman who returned from a deadly vacation.
Tennessee Williams's odd parable comes to life in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's adaptation. Featuring very strong performances by two legendary actresses (Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn), the film delights in its stage play source material.
However, what's weird about the play is the same problem with the film. We all know what happened during the summer, but Williams's time prevents him from really telling us, and Mankiewicz's time prevents him from showing us. All this obfuscating makes the film a challenge (sometimes challenges are good), but even so, Mankiewicz's flashbacks must walk the perfect line between showing us too much and showing us too little; sadly, at separate times, it's both.
Overall, this is a very strong adaptation of a difficult play.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

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