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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

This dynamic and commanding adaptation of Tennessee Williams' 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 1950s. 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. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi

  • Release date:September 18, 1958

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lawrence Weingarten Best Picture 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences James Poe Best Adapted Screenplay 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Paul Newman Best Actor 1958 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Richard Brooks Best Film - Any Source 1958 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Richard Brooks Best Director 1958 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Richard Brooks Best Director 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Brooks Best Director 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Brooks Best Adapted Screenplay 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Taylor Best Actress 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William H. Daniels Best Color Cinematography 1958 Nominee

Cast

Paul Newman
as Brick Pollitt
Elizabeth Taylor
as Maggie Pollitt
Burl Ives
as Big Daddy Pollitt
Jack Carson
as Gooper Pollitt
Judith Anderson
as Big Mama Pollitt
Madeleine Sherwood
as Mae Pollitt
Larry Gates
as Dr.Baugh
Vaughn Taylor
as Deacon Davis
Rusty Stevens
as Sonny Pollitt
Hugh Corcoran
as Buster Pollitt
Brian Corcoran
as Boy Pollitt
Zelda Cleaver
as Sookey
Jeane Wood
as Party Guest
Bobby Johnson
as Groom
Mildred Dunnock
Tony Merrill
as Party Guest

Crew

Richard Brooks
Director
Lawrence Weingarten
Producer
Tennessee Williams
Play Author
Richard Brooks
Screenwriter
James Poe
Screenwriter
William H. Daniels
Cinematographer
Ferris Webster
Editor
Urie McCleary
Art Director
Henry W. Grace
Set Designer
Robert Priestley
Set Designer
Helen Rose
Costume Designer
William Shanks
First Assistant Director
William J. Tuttle
Makeup
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