CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
1958, Warner Bros., 108 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

Tennessee Williams’ controversial play had to be somewhat sanitized for Hollywood, but what director Richard Brooks loses in frank sexual dialogue, he gains in Elizabeth Taylor’s sultry performance as a frustrated wife. Paul Newman plays her impotent husband, and their troubled marriage serves as the focal point for a gallery of gleefully appalling supporting characters, including Burl Ives as the family’s power-and-money-wielding patriarch, Big Daddy.


SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER
1959, Sony Repertory, 114 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Mankiewicz

Director Joseph Mankiewicz’s version of Tennessee Williams’ notorious play stars Montgomery Clift as a famous New Orleans brain surgeon who uncovers wild tales of homosexuality and cannibalism when called in to operate on Catharine Holly (Elizabeth Taylor) by her aunt Violet Venable (Katharine Hepburn).


A PLACE IN THE SUN
1951, Paramount, 122 min, USA, Dir: George Stevens

Montgomery Clift delivers arguably his finest performance as a tormented young man in love with socialite Elizabeth Taylor, but weighed down by his past fling with factory girl Shelley Winters. Superb, heartbreaking adaptation by director George Stevens of novelist Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy. Winner of six Academy Awards, including Best Director for Stevens.


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