Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
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Now this is acting! Fantastic!
1958's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof famously doesn't respect Tennessee Williams' play, but that hardly matters to me. Fact is, the text shines through anyway, and the characters exit the story with more grace as a result of its less cynical bent. I'd even call it poignant. And it's extremely well staged and acted. It's hard not to get drawn into Elizabeth Taylor's Maggie, wanting all the things the play tells her NOT to want, including kids even though she's attacked on all fronts by her sister-in-law's monstrous progeny. Or Paul Newman's Brick, a man used to leaning on crutches. Or Burl Ives' toxically funny Big Daddy, the dying manifestation of a prototypical "Decaying South", having laid his foundations on swamp land to prepare for an uncertain future. These three carry the film, but special mention goes Madeleine Sherwood's sycophantic gossip; you want to slap her, but that's how you know she's so good.
Wow! She was SO BEAUTIFUL!!
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #85 in BFI Flare's Best LGBT Films of All Time
This movie ranks #141 in NY Times' The Essential 1,000 Films to See
This movie ranks #156 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #163 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #215 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #1171 in Doubling the Canon