The Long, Hot Summer

( 4 )

Overview

While often regarded as one of America's greatest novelists, William Faulkner produced work that did not always translate well to the screen; it's ironically appropriate that this movie, based on several of Faulkner's short stories, is often regarded as one of the best films based on his work, though not especially accurate to the original source material. Ben Quick Paul Newman, a sullen but self-confident drifter, arrives in a small Mississippi town where his father had a bad reputation as a firebug. Will Varner...
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Overview

While often regarded as one of America's greatest novelists, William Faulkner produced work that did not always translate well to the screen; it's ironically appropriate that this movie, based on several of Faulkner's short stories, is often regarded as one of the best films based on his work, though not especially accurate to the original source material. Ben Quick Paul Newman, a sullen but self-confident drifter, arrives in a small Mississippi town where his father had a bad reputation as a firebug. Will Varner Orson Welles, the town's patriarch, still holds a grudge against Quick's dad, and when the young man decides to stay in town and sharecrop on Varner's land, Will goes out of his way to make his life difficult. However, Will develops a grudging respect for Quick's guts and determination, and he wishes that his weak-willed son Jody Anthony Franciosa could be more like him; Jody's wife Eula Lee Remick happens to agree. In time, Will gets the idea that Quick might be a good match for his daughter Clara Joanne Woodward and a better choice to take over his business dealings than Jody. However, neither Clara nor Quick care to be told what to do, and besides, Clara already has a beau -- though Alan Stewart Richard Anderson is even more of a milquetoast than Jody and is led by the nose by his mother Mabel Albertson. However, sparks begin to fly between Clara and Quick, and when Jody fears he may lose his place as heir of Will's estate, he takes drastic action, trapping his father in a barn, setting it on fire, and planting evidence that would suggest that the blaze was Quick's doing. The Long, Hot Summer was the first film that Newman and Woodward made together, and they got married the same year.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Long, Hot Summer is best remembered for Paul Newman's stellar performance as the incendiary Ben Quick, and for the seamless way in which writers Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. combined several William Faulkner stories into one compelling screenplay. It's great fun to watch the top-notch cast work together, particularly in the scenes that feature Newman and Orson Welles. Familiar faces dot the supporting cast, from Angela Lansbury to Lee Remick. It takes a while for the film to gain its footing, but, once it does, the energy level builds to a walloping climax. For much of the 1950s, director Martin Ritt was a victim of Hollywood's blacklist, and Summer helped re-establish his career, sparking a series of successful collaborations with Newman. This was also the first film to co-star Newman and wife Joanne Woodward. Though it received no Oscar nominations, Summer fared better in Europe, where Newman won Best Actor honors at the Cannes Film Festival.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2003
  • UPC: 024543075301
  • Original Release: 1958
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Newman Ben Quick
Joanne Woodward Clara Varner
Anthony Franciosa Jody Varner
Orson Welles Will Varner
Lee Remick Eula Varner
Angela Lansbury Minnie Littlejohn
Richard Anderson Alan Stewart
Sarah Marshall Agnes Stewart
Mabel Albertson Mrs. Stewart
William Walker Lucius
George Dunn Peabody
Jess Kirkpatrick Armistead
Val Avery Wilk
I. Stanford Jolley Houstin
Nicholas King John Fisher
Lee Erickson Tom Shortly
Ralph Reed J.V. Bookright
Jim Brandt Linus Olds
Helen Wallace Mrs. Houstin
Brian Corcoran Harry Peabody
Eugene Jackson Waiter
Byron Foulger Harris
J. Pat O'Malley Ratliff
Terry Rangno Pete Armistead
Technical Credits
Martin Ritt Director
L.B. Abbott Special Effects
Eli Benneche Set Decoration/Design
Eli Dunn Asst. Director
Harriet Frank Jr. Screenwriter
Joseph La Shelle Cinematographer
Harry M. Leonard Sound/Sound Designer
Louis Loeffler Editor
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Alex North Score Composer
Ben Nye Sr. Makeup
Adele Palmer Costumes/Costume Designer
Maurice Ransford Art Director
Irving Ravetch Screenwriter
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Jerry Wald Producer
E. Clayton Ward Sound/Sound Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A classic '50s drama

    Several William Faulkner stories get a fine screen treatment here.The movie benefits enormously from being filmed on location in Louisiana.Joe MacDonald's gorgeous photography and Alex North's luscious music give the film a sensual glow.Martin Ritt's powerful direction and the strong,literate, beautifully written Irving Ravetch-Harriet Frank Jr. script are textbook demonstrations of just how well a book can be filmed.But it is the brilliant performances by the entire cast that really put the movie over and make it so memorable.Orson Welles,Lee Remick,Anthony Franciosa,and Angela Lansbury are all outstanding.But the film belongs to its two stars.Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward are simply magnificent in two starmaking perfromances.It is easy to see them falling in love with each other on and off screen,which only makes their splendid work that much more convincing. All in all,this is still one of the best films of the 1950s.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews