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Showing 1-10 of 271 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 403 reviews
on September 1, 2016
This is one of my favorite movies of all times. Elizabeth Taylor does a fantastic job playing the role of Maggie "the cat" Pollitt, a married woman who is doing her best to salvage her marriage that's on the rocks. Brick (Paul Newman) is Maggie's alcoholic, depressed, former football star husband, who is doing his best to bottle up all his feelings after the suicide of his best friend - which he suspects his wife had a part in.

Big Daddy (Burl Ives) is Brick's no-nonsense, richer than dirt, demanding father who adores his daughter-in-law, Maggie. He "puts up with" - and often shuns - his wife, Big Momma (Judith Anderson) their oldest son, Gooper (Jack Carson), Gooper's snotty wife, Mae (Madeleine Sherwood) and their herd of bratty, spoiled and undisciplined kids.

The whole family has gathered together at Big Daddy's house to celebrate his birthday, and everyone there has a side agenda.
Maggie: to win back her husband, protect him from the judgement of others, prove her innocence, and keep their marital problems a secret.
Brick: to drink enough to escape reality and avoid facing his problems.
Big Daddy: to try to "fix" his son, avoid the rest of his family, and enjoy life to the fullest after getting the all-clear from his doctor on a cancer diagnosis.
Big Momma: (similar to Maggie) she wants to deny the problems in her marriage, keep the peace with everyone, and win the approval of her husband.
Gooper: to win over his father in an attempt to take over the family business.
Mae: to constantly berate Maggie for not bearing any children with her husband, and (like Gooper) win over her in-laws for a piece of the pie.

This movie is a classic with amazing actors.
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on September 7, 2016
I love both Liz Taylor and Paul Newman...this is an absolute classic. I love the family dynamics and drama. So much going on, but easy to follow. A southern plantation setting, a dying rich patriarch, greedy family members, sibling rivalry, a troubled marriage, sexual tension, alcoholism, guilt & annoying children (not necessarily in that order!)...who can ask for anything better than that!!! Something for everybody...A MUST SEE CLASSIC.
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on April 19, 2015
As the names of the characters in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" indicate -- Big Daddy, Brick, Maggie the Cat, Sister Woman -- Tennessee Williams had entered his baroque period. Uncensored, it all works, somehow.

Not here, though. It's 1958. The movie is censored all to hell. Why did director/adapter Richard Brooks think it was a good idea to turn this play, as hot and dangerous in the Fifties as a ceramic plate in a 400-degree oven, into a simple-minded family drama?

There's a lot of griping about "spoilers" by reviewers on the front-page. These reviewers had the temerity to describe what movie audiences were missing in this glossy "Metrocolor" artifact. OK, fine -- spoiler alert. Brick and Skipper were lovers. The movie -- 1958, remember -- pretends that this is not the case, and invents some other reason for Brick's unhappiness. Poor Elizabeth Taylor is forced to deliver a long monologue explaining the tiresomely fraudulent "backstory". Meanwhile, Brooks can't quite elide all the dialogue that indicates the homosexual/homophobic subtext, so what the movie ultimately does is ask viewers to pretend it's not really about Subject A and is instead about Subject B, even though we all know it's about Subject A. What a pointless exercise. Oh, and we also get a saccharine "reconciliation scene" between Brick and Big Daddy that takes up most of the third act. Very little of this material is in the original play.

Call me a hater all you like, but playwright Williams and Paul Newman, who plays Brick, hated this production too, so take that for what it's worth.

Liz Taylor looks a little zonked, and for good reason: she was recovering from the loss of her husband Mike Todd. Not a lot of oomph in her performance here. Newman himself is still occasionally mimicking his evil genius, the deceased James Dean: a lot of hunching, sudden outbursts, fiddling with props (watch him as he incessantly rolls his cocktail glass between his hands) -- that sort of thing. All this would finally be burned away by the time he did "The Hustler". We can thank our lucky stars for Burl Ives as Big Daddy and Judith Anderson as Big Mama. Ives had perfected Big Daddy on the New York stage, and Anderson was simply a great actor. I also think Madeleine Sherwood deserves a shoutout for her supremely annoying "Sister Woman".

Now that I think about it, I'm curious about those who see this movie without knowing the actual play. The viewer witnesses Paul Newman treating Elizabeth Taylor as if she was a gigantic cockroach walking upright and wearing a negligee. For the third time, I'm going to point out that the year is 1958. In that year, Taylor, despite her real-life personal grief, was hotter than a tomcat in a pepper patch. Basically, if I'm Brick, I'd pounce on her just on general principles. I wouldn't care if she had had an affair with my best friend, or my mother, or my prize stallion. I wouldn't care if she had tossed my pet chihuahua in the deep fryer and served it to me for dinner with fried green tomatoes on the side. The whole first act of the film is ludicrous in its utter lack of realism.

Sometimes the Production Code forced filmmakers to be creative by working around the restrictions, and sometimes that creativity led to cinematic greatness. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" was not one of those times. It's a fraud, somewhat saved by the supporting performances.

2 out of 5. If you can find it, try to catch the 1984 TV movie with Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones, and Rip Torn as Big Daddy. Now THAT'S the real play.
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This screen version of Tennessee Williams' play CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF was quite a success upon its release in 1958, earning Academy Award nominations for both Elizabeth Taylor (Maggie) and Paul Newman (Brick). Maggie and Brick are childless-- sleeping together was a requirement in those days for children to be conceived; these two do not do that anymore. Brick spends most of his time drinking while Maggie pleads for him to stop, to love her, to bed her, etc. Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is worth about ten million dollars, at 65 is dying with cancer. His other son and daughter-in-law have reproduced themselves five times ("no-necked monsters" according to Maggie)and have another in the oven. If Brick is to inherit some of his father's money, he needs to be both sober and a father. He and Maggie are pitted against his brother and wife. Additionally there is his relationship with his father or lack thereof. Although the word wasn't catchy in 1958, there's obviously more than enough dysfunctionality to go around here.

There is also an elephant in the room bigger than Big Daddy: what really was going on between Brick and his best friend Skipper who committed suicide for unknown reasons. This adaptation of the Williams play doesn't make much sense as to their relationship. They were friends, Brick only started drinking upon Skipper's death, and now won't sleep with Maggie. Since Ms. Taylor as Maggie was at the height of her incomparable beauty in 1958, that Brick does not find her sexually attractive is difficult to comprehend, given what the audience is told. The irony of all of this is that much is made about dishonesty ("mendacity") throughout the film. Certainly the writer here is less than forthright about what really went on between Skipper and Brick.

Mr. Williams it is said did not like this film at all. He wrote the screen play for a later version that spells out that Skipper and Brick were in love with each other but that Brick rejected such a relationship, and Skipper then committed suicide. The plot at last makes sense.

This version suffers from too much talk-- often loud talk; additionally the no-neck monsters are little more than caricatures of children. The film is saved, however, with the acting of Newman, Taylor and Ives, particularly Mr. Newman. It is also interesting to see how far movies have come in almost 50 years as to what can be discussed frankly by writers.
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on March 15, 2017
Have seen Cat in several local productions where nobody came close to Liz and Paul - two gorgeous stars who were fine actors and had great chemistry together. Long may they live on in this classic.
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on July 21, 2015
This is Taylor at her finest. Newman is brilliant. Want a glimpse into a dysfunctional family? This is for you.
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on April 6, 2017
A must see flick.
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on March 2, 2017
Favorite play...favorite movie...favorite cast. So happy to have this on DVD.
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on March 8, 2017
Thank you.
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on March 15, 2017
This is such a great movie and I just needed a new disc. Came quickly.
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