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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

4.6 out of 5 stars 354 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Thrilling performances by Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives make this adaptation of Tennessee Williams' story about a wealthy plantation owner succumbing to cancer, one of the most acclaimed movies in history. Year: 1958 Director: Richard Brooks Starring: Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Burl Ives, Jack Carson, Dame Judith Anderson

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson, Judith Anderson
  • Directors: Richard Brooks
  • Writers: Richard Brooks, James Poe, Tennessee Williams
  • Producers: Lawrence Weingarten
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004T32L
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,983 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD
In "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Newman is an ex-football player, trying to relive his college athletic glories... Drinking and staggering, he attempts to jump hurdles, resulting in a painful injury that has him hobbling around on crutches during most of the film...

The role was certainly another demonstration of his widening range, for Brick is in many ways the antithesis of Ben Quick ("The Long, Hot Summer"). Although he too is cynical, cold and guilt-ridden, he manifests it by becoming moody, withdrawn, introverted... In addition, whereas Ben was strong and decisive, causing and participating in events, Brick is weak and passive, largely reacting to events around him... And he's anything but ambitious: while his greedy brother and sister-in-law await Big Daddy's death so they can inherit his huge fortune and plantation, and while his wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor) urges him to fight for his share, he merely broods and drinks... An emotionally crippled, "thirty-year-old boy," he refuses to face responsibility and truth, preferring to drown his memories in liquor...

Newman and Taylor enact striking contrasts in temperament: she is fiery, loud, animated, sensual; he is cold, quiet, immobile, dispassionate... Brick and Maggie haven't been sleeping together, and she wants him desperately, but he keeps rejecting her advances... As she talks, he replies with sarcasm, contempt and mostly indifference, speaking in a dreamy, monotonous manner, as if only half-there...

In conversations with her, as with Big Daddy (Burl Ives), he stares into space, or walks away (usually toward the liquor supply), turning his back on the other party and forcing the dialog to take place on separate planes...
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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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