Released Date: September 20, 1958
Director: Richard Brooks
Actors: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson, Judith Anderson, Madeleine Sherwood, Larry Gates, and Vaughn Taylor
Wow, it has been a hot minute since I've written a blog. I miss it, and will be back full force, so be prepared :) I thought I'd come back with a movie that brings summer, southern, and family all together in a movie that I would say, might just be a favorite of mine. I have written a lot on my favorite director, Hitchcock, I've written on Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Grace Kelly, and so much more. But this is my favorite movie of all time. I love Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman together, even if it is tense in the beginning, middle and pretty much the end. Miss Taylor was a very talented actress. Right before shooting began of this film, Taylor suffered the loss of her husband Mike Todd in a plane crash. She came into work ready and would shoot the scenes and then go home to cry her eyes out. Director Brooks noticed that Taylor was not eating and had a scene where the family of this movie was eating, he made sure to re-start the scene over and over to make Taylor eat.
Did you know that Lana Turner and Grace Kelly were considered for the roll of Maggie the Cat. Elizabeth Taylor was great friends with Montgomery Clift, and he was considered the role of Brick. George Cukor was asked to direct, but he turned down the job due to a reference removal for the film version of this play. The movie was suppose to be in black and white, thank the stars that the movie was done in color. Some movies are 100% better due to the color of the film, like Psycho could have been done in color, but Hitchcock thought that is should be done in black and white, and that sure as heck worked. The writer of this play was Tennessee Williams, and when he wrote the part of Big Daddy, he wrote it with Burl Ives in mind, I'm glad that turned out the way Tennessee pictured it. Also note the ages, Burl Ives plays Big Daddy, his two sons in the movie are played by Jack Carson, who is only a year younger than Ives in real life. And his youngest son is Paul Newman, who is only fourteen years younger than Ives.
Big Daddy (Burl Ives) is dying of cancer. He is coming home to live out his last days. When he returns, he is welcomed back to his big family. Well, his wife, Big Mama Pollitt (Judith Anderson), his oldest son Gooper (Jack Carson) and his wife, his youngest son Brick (Paul Newman) and also his wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor). Brick and Maggie are clearly in a rut and need fast recovery, they are without children and can't even stand to be in the same room together. Well, I say that, but while watching you will notice that Maggie the Cat is trying very hard to win her husband back while Brick is clearly drinking his life away. What is Brick upset about? He had a great sporting life in school and then became a big sports announcer, but he got hurt and is now in a cast, his wife is beautiful and wants him to love her. It is up to Big Daddy to bring the two of them back together before it is too late. Big Daddy needs to leave the house to someone, and Gooper and his wife are fast at work, while Brick and Maggie just want to pay their respects and go home. What will become of the house, of Brick and Maggie, of Big Daddy and his wife? Watch this movie while drinking Sweet Tea, maybe buy some chicken and potato salad, open the windows and enjoy yourself. I sure did. Being born into a southern family sure has its kicks, and watching this movie brings back a lot of nice memories.
Missed writing, and I promise, I'm back full force. ;)