Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vintage 1950s Film: Cat On a Hot Tin Roof

Brick and Big Daddy

Gooper and Sisterwoman

A No-Neck Monster with her hands in the ice cream

Liz works the simple slip!

Is Newman handsome or what?

I have seen this one before, probably for the first time years ago in junior high or high school. I was fascinated by it, as well as A Streetcar Named Desire and especially Suddenly Last Summer, Tennessee Williams' other gems. The fascination still holds, even after all this time and experience. Sex ( in the forms of gorgeous Paul Newman and smokin' Elizabeth Taylor), tantalizing secrets, eccentric characters named Big Daddy, Sisterwoman and Brotherman and children scorned and referred to as No-Neck Monsters interested me then and now.

Beautiful couple Maggie (Taylor) and Brick (Newman) are visiting with Brick's parents due to his father, Big Daddy's (Burl Ives), recent illness, which may be serious or not. Also present are his older brother, called Gooper (Jack Carson), his wife Mae (Madeleine Sherwood), and their many bratty children. It is immediately apparent that attractive or not, Maggie and Brick are a miserable couple, in a family seeped in denial. They are childless, which stands against them in the inheritance game. We learn that this is because Brick can't stand Maggie and refuses to make love to her, for reasons that will unravel later. Big Mama (Judith Anderson)blames Maggie for her son's unhappiness and dependence on alcohol. Big Daddy can't bear his oldest son and his wolf pack of a family, but despairs over Brick's breakdown and his own health. For her part, Maggie wants to get close to her husband again, and get past an unfortunate incident in their past. No matter what. Confrontations ensue.

I never realized before just how handsome Paul Newman was. Wow! Elizabeth Taylor looks amazing in her simple white slip and dress. I guess with such attractive actors and such a dramatic story, the costumes don't have to be elaborate.

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Guinan 1990?-2009

Griffin ?-2010