November 17, 2016
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Review #871: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Elizabeth Taylor (Margaret "Maggie/Maggie the Cat" Pollitt), Paul Newman (Brick Pollitt), Burl Ives (Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt), Judith Anderson (Ida "Big Mama" Pollitt), Jack Carson (Cooper "Gooper" Pollitt), Madeleine Sherwood (Mae Flynn "Sister Woman" Pollit), and Larry Gates (Dr. Baugh) Directed by Richard Brooks
Can't say I expected to do this one (based off the play of the same name by Tennessee Williams, who already had his play A Streetcar Named Desire adapted into a film earlier in the decade), but sometimes college and this show mesh together (as opposed to being on different ends). At best, it is an alright movie, up to the standard of films of the time, though it isn't likely one of my favorites. Taylor and Newman certainly have fine chemistry together (even in scenes not so pleasant), with a fair amount of screen time dedicated to the two. It takes time to get interesting (with the plot and all, especially with lengthy scenes setting up the main characters), but the climax is fairly serviceable. The big highlight (and where it gets fun) is Burl Ives, who practically steals the show after he appears midway through. His insults are edged entertainingly, but he's not completely without some sort of humanity, and he does well to contribute the climax. The rest of the cast do an adequate job in their roles, having some sort of arc that works. The sets are also pretty fine, and the movie flows well at about 100 minutes. If you're looking for a fairly adequate adaptation of a play, I think this will work for you, as opposed to Williams, who reportedly told people waiting to see it that "This movie will set the industry back 50 years. Go home!" Regardless, while I don't think I'll watch it in the near future again, I think it is at least fine as its own thing. It has enough drama and atmosphere to work just neatly enough.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.