Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

4.4 5
Director: Richard Brooks

Cast: Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Burl Ives

     
 

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A steamy, often downright fun picture, this MGM DVD release of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof shows that today's stars can't hold a candle to Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. Essentially the same as the currently more widely available Warner DVD release, this edition features a good widescreen anamorphic transfer, but the source print used is far from perfect. Still,

Overview

A steamy, often downright fun picture, this MGM DVD release of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof shows that today's stars can't hold a candle to Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. Essentially the same as the currently more widely available Warner DVD release, this edition features a good widescreen anamorphic transfer, but the source print used is far from perfect. Still, the Technicolor images are well represented, and the audio track is even cleaner than the picture and is well balanced if not exceptionally robust. Since the original play could deal with racy subject matter with less restrictions than a Hollywood movie, viewers can also compare this with the DVD release of a 1984 theatrical production starring Jessica Lange.The dynamic and commanding adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, focuses on a troubled Southern family and the discord over their dying father's millions. Wealthy plantation owner Big Daddy Pollitt (Burl Ives), celebrating his 65th birthday, is visited by his sons, Brick (Paul Newman) and Gooper (Jack Carson). He has cancer, but a doctor has deliberately and falsely declared it in remission. Seemingly perfect son Gooper and his wife Mae (Madeleine Sherwood) have several children and are anxiously expecting to inherit Daddy's millions. By contrast, Big Daddy's "favorite," Brick, is a has-been football star who's taken to drinking his days away since the suicide of his "best friend" a year earlier. He resents his wife, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor), because he believes that she had an affair with his deceased friend. As a result, he refuses to sleep with her although she remains devoted to him. Since Brick and Maggie have failed to produce any grandchildren, Big Daddy is inclined to leave his estate to Gooper, but Maggie attempts to prevent that by telling him that she is pregnant. Big Daddy knows better, yet he recognizes that Maggie loves Brick so much that she would be willing to do anything for him. Although Brick is self-destructive and resentful, unable to come to terms with his losses, it takes Big Daddy's recognition of his own mortality to make Brick change his perspective. Brick's struggle with his sexual identity, and the nature of his relationship with his "friend," had to be toned down for mass consumption, although this intelligently written and acted film covers such topics as infertility, adultery, and alcoholism that were still considered taboo in the 1950's. Newman brings depth and feeling to the role as Brick, while Taylor succeeds brilliantly in portraying Maggie as a passionate and understanding woman despite her own real-life emotional turmoil over the death of her husband at the time, producer Mike Todd.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Paul Newman's first big success came in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the 1958 film adaptation of playwright Tennessee Williams' claustrophobic drama. Newman got his first Oscar nomination, one of seven for the film, for his role as Brick Pollitt, the former football star, and Elizabeth Taylor was at her feline best as his dangerous wife, Maggie. Some of the more controversial elements of Williams' melodrama were downplayed in the film version so as not to ruffle the censors of the era. But it still remains a steamy, haunting piece of filmmaking under the direction of Richard Brooks. Remakes were executed for television in 1976 and 1984, the latter starring Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/01/1997
UPC:
0027616661722
Original Release:
1958
Rating:
NR
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
1:48:00

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Newman Brick Pollitt
Elizabeth Taylor Maggie Pollitt
Burl Ives Big Daddy Pollitt
Jack Carson Gooper Pollitt
Judith Anderson Big Mama Pollitt
Madeleine Sherwood Mae Pollitt
Larry Gates Dr.Baugh
Vaughn Taylor Deacon Davis
Patty Ann Gerrity Dixie Pollitt
Rusty Stevens Sonny Pollitt
Hugh Corcoran Buster Pollitt
Deborah Miller Trixie Pollitt
Brian Corcoran Boy Pollitt
Vince Townsend Lacey
Zelda Cleaver Sookey
Jeane Wood Party Guest
Mildred Dunnock Actor
Bobby Johnson Groom
Tony Merrill Party Guest

Technical Credits
Richard Brooks Director,Screenwriter
Lee Le Blanc Special Effects
William H. Daniels Cinematographer
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
William Horning Art Director
Urie McCleary Art Director
Wesley C. Miller Sound/Sound Designer
James Poe Screenwriter
Robert Priestley Set Decoration/Design
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
William Shanks Asst. Director
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Ferris Webster Editor
Lawrence Weingarten Producer

Scene Index

1. Scene Selections.
2. Language Selections.
3. Theatrical Trailer.
4. Play.

Videos

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Vovo More than 1 year ago
Set in the sultry South, this story of the complexities of relationships and society's common use of mendacity sends the viewer on a roller coaster of untamed emotions and vulnerable enchantment. Newman and Taylor were at their heights is this delicious treat of a film. I only wish I had seen it sooner! This will definitely be something that I will watch again and again and share with my friends and family. Wonderful, wondeful film!
JCRascal More than 1 year ago
I have always loved this film, for any number of reasons: The superb performances by its actors, to start with, particularly Taylor & Newman, who proved to Hollywood once and for all, in my opinion, that they were more than just pretty faces. There is also the back-story of the making of the film, including Taylor's husband's untimely death, as well as her near-miss. There is also the fact that the second half of the film is truer to the playwright's original vision, since the second act was completely rewritten for its original Broadway production, at director Elia Kazan's insistance. What we see in the second half of the film is very close to the original script, and as such carries much more weight, in terms of what it reveals to the audience about the characters, as layer after layer of pretense and "mendacity", as Big Daddy puts it, are stripped away. The extras involved in this DVD are just icing on the cake.
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