Cat on A Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, PN, Burl Ives, Jack Carson

Directed by: Richard Brooks

Summary: Tennessee Williams through the dishwasher again, in this beautifully performed and aesthetically pleasing drama. It's Big Daddy Pollitt's (Burl Ives) 65th birthday and his family is on hand to provide celebration: Big Mama, his oldest son Gooper with his wife Mae (and brood of kids) and his younger son Brick and his wife Maggie. Brick is incapacitated with a broken ankle from a drunken night on a track field trying to recapture his glory days. Maggie loves her husband, but can not divert his attention from his guilt over his college friend Skipper's suicide. The party is filled with tensions, everyone is afraid to tell Big Daddy that he is dying of cancer and Maggie suspects Gooper and Mae are trying to rook Brick and her out of the family inheritance. Brick's involvement with Skipper is not explained, rather suggested and left to the audience's imagination (or lack there of according to the time...). Maggie struggles to get Brick to come back to her but she is no match for the demons that plague his memory.

Quote: Brick: "Now, you keep forgetting the conditions under which I agreed to stay on living with you!"
Maggie: "I'm not living with you! We occupy the same cage, that's all."

Trivia: Taylor's husband Mike Todd died in a plane crash during shooting. Newman received his first Academy Award nomination for his role as Brick Pollitt. Newman and Taylor would present the Best Picture Academy Award together in 1996. Tennessee Williams so disliked this version that he told people in line for viewing, "This will set the industry back 50 years. Go home."

The Newman Factor: Newman oozes sexuality in this role, (some would think a little too well, and he's spent most of his career defending his heterosexuality). He is fabulous! 10.

Rating:This is how movies should be made. 10.