Cat on a hot tin roof
Threat advisory: Severe - Severe risk of entertaining activities
This is Maggie The Cat...
Cat on a hot tin roof is a story of an affluent southerner, Big Daddy Pollitt (Burl Ives), who is dying of cancer. The family gathers at the Mississippi mansion for his birthday, aware that this may be his last. Big Daddy does not know, however, because family doctor, Doctor Baugh (Larry Hates), eldest son Gooper (Jack Carson), and his wife, Mae (Madeleine Sherwood), decide to keep the fact concealed from him. Two other family members join the clan for the party, Brick (Paul Newman), the youngest Pollitt, and his beautiful wife, Maggie "The Cat" (Elizabeth Taylor).
Gooper and Brick are the only heirs to Big Daddy's enormous estate, and Gooper is well aware that Brick is the favourite son. In an effort to win Big Daddy over, Gooper and Mae make a display of themselves and their children, hoping the patriarch will notice that they will provide heirs for the estate. They are out to discredit Brick and Maggie, who do not have children while Brick seems destined to live the rest of his life in a drunken stupor.
Theatrical propaganda posters
Target demographic movie keyword propaganda
- Film drama Tennessee Williams Big Daddy family Mississippi
Persons of interest
- Elizabeth Taylor .... Margaret "Maggie The Cat" Pollitt
- Paul Newman .... Brick Pollitt
- Burl Ives .... Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt
- Jack Carson .... Gooper Pollitt
- Judith Anderson .... Ida "Big Momma" Pollitt
- Madeleine Sherwood .... Mae Flynn Pollitt
- Larry Gates .... Dr Baugh
- Vaughn Taylor .... Deacon Davis
- Zelda Cleaver .... Sookey
- Hugh Corcoran .... Buster Pollitt
- Mildred Dunnock .... Bit Part
- Patty Ann Gerrity .... Dixie Pollitt
- Deborah Miller .... Trixie Pollitt
- Tennessee Williams .... Playwright
- James Poe .... Screenwriter
- Richard Brooks .... Screenwriter
- Richard Brooks .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS - Oscars) 1958: Nominated: Best actor (Paul Newman), Best actress (Elizabeth Taylor), Best picture, Best colour cinematography (William Daniels), Best direction, Best screenplay based on material from another medium
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Cat on a hot tin roof is one hell of a film.
It's a classic story of people who chose to live their lies and then couldn't find any way out of them. It's not that the truth hurts but the peeling off of the layers of lies that they've grown around themselves.
A cruel critic could call Cat on a hot tin roof a soap opera, but I am never cruel, just honest. This flick is to soap opera as sulphuric acid is to Sunlight dishwashing liquid. It's the distillation of years of repressed hate finally bursting through the barriers that kept it hidden, all on one dark, rainy, stormy night. Yes, there's a metaphor, and it's used bluntly throughout the film, beating you over the head with its obviousness in the same way that the characters must beat against each other's walls in order to be heard.
Paul and Elizabeth are wound as tight as a drum, bouncing off the walls, the floor, the furniture, each other and anyone else who gets in the way. They're perfectly cast and they revel in this chance to show the guts of two people who are killing each other with the death of a thousand cuts. Burl overwhelms everybody with Big Daddy's overbearing presence, like a mountain that won't be challenged let alone moved. The supporting cast reveal every hurt and every hatred that ever crossed a person's mind, digging knives into each other in the hope that they will be the last to fall.
I like a good back-stabbing.
If you want to watch a film that leaves you almost as bloody and beaten as the characters, Cat on a hot tin roof is the film for you.
Media intelligence (DVD)
- Audio: 1.0
- Disc: double sided
- Picture: Side A: Full frame (4:3); Side B: Widescreen 16:9
- Languages: English, French, Italian
- Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Dutch, Greek, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Romanian, Bulgarian, English and Italian captions
Security censorship classification
104 minutes (1:44 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
DVD retail: 18 July 2001