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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones, Rip Torn, Kim Stanley, Penny Fuller
  • Directors: Jack Hofsiss
  • Writers: Tennessee Williams
  • Producers: Alan Pierce, Elizabeth Ashley, Lou LaMonte, Marilyn Larson, Phylis Geller
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 1998
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305081905
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,949 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In a sordid tale of faded dreams and family feuds, Tennessee Williams delivers perhaps his greatest play. Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange star in this award-winning adaptation.

Amazon.com

It sounds like perfect casting: Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones do one of Tennessee Williams's most powerful works. But this filmed stage play doesn't quite fulfill the promise. Lange certainly has all the right ingredients: the sensual moves, the fluttering neuroses, the scheming-with-a-smile, but it doesn't quite ring true. It's as if the star and her director failed to make the full transition from stage acting to the smaller, more nuanced acting demands of film. Jones is badly miscast as Brick--the character is mopey and riven with insecurities, while Jones's forte is garrulous confidence. It feels like he's acting with a muzzle on. Rip Torn is terrific as Big Daddy (his scenes with Jones are the best in the piece) and the rest of the cast is all up to the game. Tennessee Williams reworked the script for this American Playhouse production, restoring some sexual frankness lost in earlier productions. The piece has some real fireworks, and not just in the places you might expect. Lange and Jones would team up again to better effect in the 1994 drama Blue Sky. --Geof Miller

Customer Reviews

It's a great story with some excellent acting.
Steve 1962
Big Daddy...played by Burl Ives... The GOD of the family, the one with all the money, Power, the one who's dying.
My Inner Chick
Most of the film takes place inside a house and there's almost no physical action.
Linda Linguvic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Horner on June 7, 2002
Format: DVD
Tennessee William's play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", was considered so controversial that its Broadway producers forced the playwright to alter the third act. Either in spite of or because of the changes, the play was a huge hit. Even with the changes, it had to be further watered down for Hollywood's 1958 movie version. Once more, it was a boxoffice smash. It went on to garner six Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Elizabeth Taylor and Best Actor for Paul Newman. Despite the industry's timidity back then, the movie was a searing, powerful drama about a family in crisis. That it remains so to this day, despite massive changes in social values and mores over the years, is a credit to its brilliant cast and to its director, Richard Brooks.
Brick and Maggie [Newman and Taylor] have come to his father's big plantation in Mississippi to celebrate the old man's 65th birthday. Everyone calls him Big Daddy, and as portrayed by Burl Ives, he truly is a larger than life figure. Brick's brother, Gooper [Jack Carson], his wife, Mae [Madeleine Sherwood], and their five `little no-neck monsters" are also there. Big Daddy has just returned from several weeks at a clinic where he was treated for cancer. He thinks he is cured, but the doctors have lied to him. He's unlikely to see his next birthday. Rivalry and intrigue abound among the siblings and their families as everyone fights over who will take over the plantation. Brick has major problems of his own. The former star athlete drinks too much, refuses the advances and affection of the gorgeous and calculating Maggie because he blames her for his best friend's suicide, and is bitter about his father, who doesn't seem to love him or anyone else.
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Format: VHS Tape
This adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play was nominated for six academy awards in 1959. It stars Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie, rejected over and over by her alcoholic husband, Brick, played by Paul Newman. His father, Big Daddy, played by Burl Ives, has just returned to his Mississippi mansion after exploratory surgery. There's bitter rivalry in the family as they speculate about his death. Jack Carson plays the older son, who, with his pregnant wife, played by Madeline Sherwood and their five obnoxious children are determined to inherit Big Daddy's fortune. But Big Daddy despises him, as he does his own wife of 40 years, Big Mama, played by Judith Anderson.
As this film was originally a play, most of it is sharp and cutting dialogue, every line filled with tension and double meanings. Close-ups reveal the artistry of the actors, all of whom are excellent. I especially liked Burl Ives, whose performance called for a wide range of emotions, showing his vulnerability as well as his strength. And as the characters battled with each other, the story, which I understand was rewritten to fall within the guidelines of 1950s censors, slowly revealed itself. Some critics say this ruined this movie adaptation. I can't comment on that because I though the story was great. Most of the film takes place inside a house and there's almost no physical action. Not necessary. The dialog does it all. And it does it well. Recommended.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2006
Format: DVD
Of course everyone will compare this 1984 remake of one of Tennessee Williams' best plays with the 1950's version starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. The director, actors and everyone else involved in this production have nothing to be embarrassed about for this is a fine movie indeed. In fairness to the Taylor-Newman movie, because of the censorship of that repressed era, the plot does not make a lot of sense. These actors though have the advantage of working with a story that Mr. Williams had revised so that the relationship that Brick and Skipper had that keeps interfering with Brick's marriage with Maggie now makes sense. ("A pure and true thing is not normal.") Additionally Taylor and Newman are so incredibly attractive that sometimes their good looks get in the way of their acting. Here we have really stellar performances by Jessica Lange as Maggie, Tommy Lee Jones as Brick-- he's a lot better than many of the critics say-- Rip Torn as Big Daddy and Kim Stanley as Big Momma. Tommy Lee Jones does some terrific acting with just his eyes and facial expressions alone. Jessica Lange continues to demonstrate that she is one of the best actresses of her generation. She gives a beautifully nuanced performance, expressing a wide range of emotions and can go from a vulnerable, lovable kitten to a clawing cat at the turn of a fan. The scenes between Big Daddy and Brick, through excruciating, are very moving.

While Mr. Willams as usual places his characters in the South, they resemble dysfunctional families everywhere. Greed, sexual repression, sibling rivalry, dishonesty, awareness of one's own mortality and family in-fighting know no geographical boundries.

Mr. Williams would be proud of this production.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Richard Brooks' 1958 screen adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof finds its greatest merit in its actors. Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Burl Ives, Judith Anderson, Jack Carson, and Madeline Sherwood give award winning performances as the members of the dysfunctional Pollitt family. Set at the plantation Big Daddy built from the ground up and centering around his sixty-fifth birthday celebration, Cat on A Hot Tin Roof delves into the "mendacity" surrounding this Southern family. All the family has gathered, not so much for the party, but for the news of Big Daddy's medical condition...and of course, to protect their share of the inheritance. Big Daddy has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but is unaware of it. Oldest son Gooper and his wife Mae vie with youngest son Brick's wife Maggie for the biggest portion of the estate. The two sons and their wives are set up as a direct contrast to one another. Gooper has always tried to please his father, even becoming a lawyer at his suggestion. Mae has done her share to win Big Daddy's affection as well, giving birth to five children, soon to be six. Brick has stayed a child, having been a football hero in his youth and becoming an alcoholic during the film. Maggie also tries to please Big Daddy, but is genuine in her affection for him. Censorship in the 1950s did not allow such controversial things as homosexuality and vulgarity (which were in the play) to be in the film, but they are just beneath the surface. This is partially revealed by Brick's relationship with his friend Skipper. Some of the tension in his marriage to Maggie is assumed to be because she had an affair with Brick's friend. It is later revealed that this is not the case.Read more ›
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