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The Long, Hot Summer
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Top Customer Reviews
As Ben Quick, Paul Newman ignites the screen and fairly burns down half of Mississippi in the process with his incredible magnetism. He brings to Quick all he as to bear as an actor and creates one of his early memorable performances. Just watch him as bare chested he hugs his pillow on the hot veranda while watching Joanne Woodward through a screen door sitting up in her bed trying to ignore him, or his walk across the Varner yard early on in the film, his interactions with Orson Wells or Tony Franciosa. He is every inch the "mean and dirty" barnburner everyone thinks he is. He is just what the Varner family and Clara Varner in particular need to feed their respective fever dreams brought on by the heat of this particular August in the south.
Hitting her marks in a great performance is Joanne Woodward. She being a true daughter of the South comes to the table with and extra barrel loaded. As Clara Varner she is both needy and steely, a magnolia ready to be plucked but at that same time fearful that she will be passed over and left to wither on the vine. Her scene in the general store after closing time with Newman is just about one of the steamiest love scenes ever filmed this
side of "Picnic".Read more ›
Both Paul Newman and Orson Wells exude the essence of macho in the finest southern tradition. I can almost smell all that testosterone right off the video screen. There's nothing politically correct about this story, as the strength of the women lies only in the way they can manipulate the men in their lives. And, in spite of Joanne Woodward's, declaration of how much she loves books, the audience knows that what she really wants is nothing less than the kind of man who will make her wake up smiling each morning. This was the first movie that Woodward and Newman made together and they married shortly thereafter and so the audience is treated to a very special chemistry between them. Newman's blue eyes sparkle and his sexiness comes through loud and clear when he takes off his shirt. His body is naturally rugged without the sculptured pumped and ripped muscles that have since become trendy. Orson Wells' outstanding performance is the glue that holds the story together.Read more ›
This film, the 1958 original, leaves it in the dust. Newman and Woodward generate palpable heat, and Orson Welles--clammy, jowly, bullfrog-voiced, crudely vigorous--is unforgettable as a classically bullying, overbearing Southern patriarch. In contrast to the pallid TV remake, it features a top cast whose work transcends the sometimes creaky melodrama of the plot. Nearly every white Southern archetype is brought to life: the brutish, domineering, castrating patriarch; the arch, charming, coyly seductive belle with hot pants; the aging good-time girl, simultaneously randy and prim, with her eye on the prize of a rich widower; the hotheaded but weak son and heir, goaded to jealousy by his seductive, flirtatious wife and utterly dominated by his father, whom he both adores and despises; the sharp-tongued old maid, smoldering with repressed fire, who just needs a "real man" to take the place of her suspiciously lukewarm long-term suitor; and, of course, the roguish, charming, sexy, potentially dangerous outsider, spiritual heir to Rhett Butler, who gets both the community and the heroine in a lather. There's even a lynch mob--chasing a white man, for a change.
Skip the TV-movie remake, which at best is a clunky imitation, in favor of the classic--if for no other reason than to see Paul Newman, at the peak of his beauty, in an undershirt. If that's not inducement enough, it's also marvelously cast, scripted, acted, and directed, and it captures Southern family dynamics with humor, pathos, and wince-inducing accuracy. Florence King would be proud.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Paul Newman - so good! The story, the setting - even the photography, captures a feeling, for the era.Published 9 days ago by FoodMaven
Great fun. Part of it includes the gap in continuity when they are outside and the sun keeps changing from a position high in the sky to sunset, then up and down again all during... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Andre Vellagio
A richly developed movie with a talented cast. Well-adapted William Faulkner stories.Published 3 months ago by Fritz Whitaker