Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

1958 American Feature

Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Judith Anderson, Jack Carson and Madeleine Sherwood
Director: Richard Brooks
Writers: Richard Brooks and James Poe, based on the play by Tennessee Williams

Alcoholic ex-football player Brick drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife Maggie. His reunion with his father jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.


  • Internet Movie Database: 8.0/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 97% / Audience: 90%
  • OMG rating: 7 /10

  • DVD: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Actor (Newman), Actress (Taylor), Director, Adapted Screenplay and Color Cinematography.
  • BAFTA Award nominations for Best Film from Any Source, Foreign Actor (Newman) and Foreign Actress (Taylor).
  • Directors Guild of America Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
  • Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Director.
  • Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Written American Drama.

  • Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof premiered on Broadway in 1955. Directed by Elia Kazan, the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play. Ben Gazzara and Barbara Bel Geddes starred as Brick and Maggie; original Broadway cast members Burl Ives and Madeleine Sherwood reprised their roles for this film version.
  • The references to homosexuality in the original play were removed from the screenplay to comply with the Hollywood Production Code. Because of this, George Cukor turned down MGM's offer to direct the film. Paul Newman, who had agreed to play the role of Brick under the impression the film would be a direct adaptation of the original play, expressed his disappointment when the screenplay, over Tennessee Williams' objections, deviated wildly from the stage text. Williams (who has said Cat was his personal favorite of all his plays) so disliked this film adaptation that he told people waiting in line at the movie theater, "This movie will set the industry back 50 years. Go home!". Despite the author's misgivings, the film was one of the top ten box office hits of 1958.
  • Casting Call: Montgomery Clift, Grace Kelly, Ben Gazzara, Robert Mitchum, Don Murray, Elvis Presley and Lana Turner.
  • The play has been revived a total of five times on Broadway since its original production: in 1974 (starring Elizabeth Ashley, Keir Dullea and Fred Gwynne), in 1990 (starring Kathleen Turner, Charles Durning and Polly Holiday), in 2003 (starring Ashley Judd, Jason Patric and Ned Beatty), in 2008 (directed by Debbie Allen and starring Terrence Howard, James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad) and in 2012 (starring Scarlett Johansson). For the first revival, Tennesse Williams made substantial alterations to the play; this has been the version used for most subsequent revivals.
  • In 1976, a television version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was produced and aired on NBC, starring Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Laurence Olivier and Maureen Stapleton. PBS' 1984 American Playhouse adaptation, starring Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones, Rip Torn and Kim Stanley, revived the sexual themes which had been muted in the 1958 film.

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