Summer and Smoke - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Summer and Smoke Reviews

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February 25, 2016
Like so many of the works of Williams, it deals with tension, with repression, with awakening, and, ultimately, with disintegration. If it weren't for Page's luminous performance, there would not be much to recommend the movie.
April 23, 2015
another sanitized version of a Tennessee William's play.
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2014
Most Williams conversions to the screen have been fabulous but this one is a let down. There are elements to the directing I think that don't allow for the story to flow as effectively as it could.
April 14, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014

(1961) Summer And Smoke
DRAMA

Based on a play written by Tennessee Williams, which is somewhat similar to his other play "A Streetcar Named Desire", except that there's kind of a love story involved. Picture this, imagine Blanche DuBois played by Vivien Leigh attempting to change a person who acts like Stanley, played by Marlon Brando. The entire story is pastor's daughter, Alma Winemiller (Geraldine Page) has always been in love with the doctor's son, John Buchanan, Jr (Laurence Harvey) ever since they were kids. Except that John can't avoid his reckless behaviour and leave his rebellious ways. I liked this movie up to a specific point, as soon as viewers weren't give in to the aftermaths involving other characters that impacted the main stars lives, including the other so-called rambunctious girl in Johnny's life and Alma's pastor father who verbally lied to her, which is something pastor's are not supposed to do. We kind of have to come up with our own conclusions on some of those people. Both Laurence Harvey and Geraldine Page are exceptional, but the story overall still has much to be desired.

2.5 out of 4 stars
½ December 27, 2013
Depending upon your point of view, this overwrought adaptation is so bad it is good. Or, you might think it just bad. However, I do not think anyone can find flaw with Geraldine Page's performance which remains pitch-perfect and real even when the dialog seems to be demanding she eat the scenery. Sadly, the other actors do not fare as well. I found the entire film entertaining from beginning to end.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
December 8, 2012
Moody, stage bound drama with some typical Williams touches has a heavy gothic atmosphere and good performances to recommend it. Geraldine Page conveys the Alma"s yearnings with her customary skill and even the usually stiff Harvey is more accomplished than usual. Also standing out in a small role is Una Merkel as Alma's mother giving an affecting performance in just a few scenes.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2012
A Southern belle longs for a doctor who pays more attention to desires of the flesh than Southern social mores.
It's rare for me to find a superficial quality about an actor that detracts from her performance enough for me to mention it, but Geraldine Page is an unfortunate exception: I hate her face. When she smiles, her cheeks pucker into two protruding circles that dominate her expression; it's like she's got two jawbreakers stuck in her cheeks. And her expression is always coy - coyly distressed, coyly happy, coyly longing. Yes, it's superficial, but the structure of her face actually detracted from her performance.
The film's central conflict is a "will he or won't he grow up" dramatic question, and such a plot obviously reinforces traditional values, or in this case, traditional Southern mores. This plot by itself isn't too strong, but with Tennessee Williams's language, it becomes more compelling. Long monologues about passion and fire make fucking around seem like a spiritual communion. This isn't Williams's best writing - some of the metaphors are overwrought and the Southern belle act has gotten cliche - but in the hands of anyone else, it would have been a bland, cliche story about a man being saved by the love of a good woman with a predictable twist.
Overall, though it's one of his lesser works, fans of Tennessee Williams might enjoy this film.
May 10, 2011
Not as good as Night of the Iguana or Baby Doll but amazing none the less. Tn Williams is a true genius- his work is moral, mystical. Geraldine Paige who was also in the broadway revival role of Alma makes the movie. Some really great moments here and there and then the last couple acts are great.
March 28, 2011
I always forget how blunt Tennessee Williams is. Wasn't terribly impressed with anybody in this, except for that last scene between Alma and John which really makes the whole thing.
January 27, 2011
Such a wonderful movie filled with excellent performances!
July 28, 2010
Too much old climactic symphony music. Makes the film a little overdramatic for my tastes.
½ October 20, 2009
Very good Tennessee William's story of an old maid (Page) who sees love (Laurence Harvey) slips from her hands by not responding fast enough to it. Beautiful! Geraldine Page is really convincing.
August 15, 2009
Brilliant Tennessee Willaims!
½ July 20, 2009
Three guesses why this movie is so special to me!!!!!!!!!!!!
December 31, 2008
Super deep. Very sad. I love anything Tennessee Williams.
Super Reviewer
July 28, 2008
nominated for best picture by NBR
March 2, 2008
Obscure favorite. Great rendition of Williams stage play. Page is brilliant.
February 24, 2008
a lyrical adaptation of one of williams' best works. the language is, for the most part, intact and the design elements enhance the look and deliver the period quite well. of course, tiffin , moreno and harvey are wearing elvis and priscilla hair but that is a minor point to quibble. the score is one of bernstein's best--right in there with 'to kill a mockingbird'. and the last scene at the fountain as alma gives in to her fleshly side of her nature, is breathtaking. page is in great form and holliman gives her great support. as does harvey, merkel and the rest of the cast. save tiffin. i don't know. too bubbly for my taste.
February 13, 2008
"I was more afraid to touch your soul than you were afraid to touch my body." A masterpiece of angst.
January 14, 2008
I always like the underlying tension or fraying sanity of the characters in Tennessee Williams' plays. I have liked the other adaptations or his plays more, but this one still has something to it.
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