“Director Richard Brooks does a fine job in keeping the movie always fascinating; it never feels constrained despite being based on a stage play.
“ Vivid dialogue, perfect casting, compelling storyline....
“ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - A Thrilling Drama .
“ Whilst they often chalked up respectable city seasons, they usually died in the suburbs and ended up playing to empty houses in rural areas.
“ 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
All of this places him in a private world, where he hides his torment and anxiety beneath a mask of detachment
If Newman is best at enacting Brick's unspoken thoughts and emotions, he's also effective in the more spirited moments, as when he screams at Maggie or Big Daddy, to prevent them from getting at the truth he wants kept buried
But exactly what the "truth" is remains unclear
In the play, Brick's fear of admitting a homosexual attachment led indirectly to his friend's death and explained his overall moodiness and passivity
But because of Hollywood's moral code, director-scriptwriter Richard Brooks had to eliminate this, and the character's motivations are considerably weakened
His hostility toward Maggieunderstandable in the playis especially confusing because it results from events that are unconvincingly outlined
With the homosexuality cut out, Brick's dependence upon his friend is now explained by the failure of Big Daddy to provide strength and love, and this changed emphasis does make for exciting drama
The film's key scenenot in the playis one in which Brick confronts his father with this painful truth
As they sit in a cellar disarranged with the old man's useless antiques, he tells Big Daddy that love cannot be bought
Newman moves powerfully from anguished looks to an eruption of emotion, smashing everything in sight, finally breaking down and crying: "All I wanted was a father, not a boss ...
“ It is also very gripping and intense, like the play.
“The head of the family, the imposing Big Daddy, stands out in the film because of the engaging performance of Burl Ives.
“ Some of the highlights are just as wordy but thoroughly enjoyable rather than tedious (especially Maggie's story about Mae's reign as Cotton Carnival Queen and the entire scene in the basement).
“ As Intense as It Gets .
“ And the film's rather simple story is certainly compelling enough so as not to be overwhelmed by the Ives tour de force near the end.
“ Toned-Down Version of a Classic which Still Proves Riveting .
“Paul Newman captures the intense depression of Brick really well.
“" is ultimately disappointing because it's glamorous when it should have been grim, and just repetitive when it should have been obsessive.
“ His wife is Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie the Cat, who is stunning, of course.
“ Intense portrayal of love, sex, and truth in deep south .
“ liz taylor in my opinion is very bland and a one dimension actress.....
“ This is by far one of the most intense and well acted movies I have seen.
“ Mr. Newman is simply brilliant with a thoughtful expression on his face and a half-empty glass in his hand.
“ They were both absolutely breathtaking in it.
“ Obviously, with two beautiful people in the lead roles, this movie is enjoyable to watch, and the tension between them sparks off the screen.
“ He should have at least been grateful for the casting of Ives and Taylor because they both soar to the skies here, redeeming what otherwise might have been a dreary affair.
“ The acting was so exceptional, fast paced, and authentic.
“ I was also put off by the contrived thunder claps at dramatic moments.
“ Very fine adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play that is both literate and entertaining.
“ Elizabeth Taylor is stunning, clever and resourceful.
“ It's very engrossing.
“ Plain boring.
“ Boring .
“ It is a fabulous play, constantly entertaining and witty.
“ To the balanced Williams fan, it is gripping, well acted and nicely-paced.
“ The situations are predictable and the resolutions are far too pat for me.
“ Of course, it's impossible to make a film based on a play that isn't 'talky,' but Brooks has managed to make a film that is fascinating and interesting despite the theatrical feel.
“The film is remarkably gripping and intense for such a leisurely-paced, dialogue-heavy film.
“) But somehow this is still a very good film; gripping, intense and emotional.
“ This is tepid and bland, with uninspired direction, and would make anyone wonder why this Tennessee Williams play is considered to be such a classic.
“ Finally, even after so much psycho-history, this is still a fascinating portrait of very unhappy people facing age-old problems.
“The movie doesn't take too much time to draw the viewer in, thanks to a fabulously shot long opening scene which has at display the acting prowess of Newman and Taylor along with a continuous piano instrumental in the background which makes the conversation all the more interesting and intriguing.
“However, in today's bland movie culture, I suppose young people are impressed by this.
“ I know, I know; that's a hoary old cliché.
“ Because she oozes sexual frustration and deep desire as Maggie, who's jockeying for both a stake in the family estate and in Brick's heart, she is all too compelling to watch.
“ My latest estimate: Boring.
“" Natasha thought "Guys might get bored".
“ Taylor is charming and tragic in her sexually repressed role as Maggie the Cat, while Paul Newman's troubled soul hiding a dark secret as Brick is very compelling.
“ Elizabeth Taylor gave intense anger and sadness that stemmed from tragedy.
“ Just stunning.
“ Yet even so, I found it to be it rather entertaining despite these weaknesses and I have rated it accordingly.
“ Taylor is stunning, as usual- how could Newman resist her whilst she hungrily follows him around their room in that white slip?
“ Breathtaking acting .
“ Despite sterling efforts by most of the players, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" emerges as a dull, slow-moving picture, peopled with dull, painstakingly torpid caricatures mouthing dull, tediously uninteresting dialogue.
“ Liz Taylor's performance is breathtaking and Paul Newman is so raw.
“ I do enjoy old movies, but this film is plain boring; just like "All About Eve".
“ People make up social codes, and seeing Taylor and Newman navigate their way around them to get to the core of what they want is a real bother and bore.
“ Taylor is at least competent and her numinous beauty is stunning too.
“ The situations were bland to me.
“ Maggie the Cat is an intriguing character in her own right and Taylor certainly doesn't disappoint in the role.
“If anybody wonders why I no longer bother with most modern movies and their two-dimensional acting in 3D, propped-up by a shed-load of boring pyrotechnics and seen-them-all-before special effects.
“ But Burl Ives' performance is wonderful, and alone makes the film worth watching.
“The relationship between Brick and Maggie is the most fascinating ever recorded on celluloid.
“ Pitched about 10 decibels too high so that the audience can confuse loud talk with superior acting, the result is more annoying than thought-provoking or even, perish the thought, entertaining.
“ Watch this film because it has what you want to see: a slow, clear story with little to no plot twists.
“ Newman and Taylor fade into the background, and the movie becomes the story of Ives' Big Daddy, who gives a fascinating, bellicose performance as a dying patriarch, desperately in need of a worthy heir to carry on his legacy.
“ The dialogue is so compelling and real, a trait that is common for Tennessee Wiliams's plays.
“ Jack Carson (Cooper Pollitt) is pretty boring as greedy and deceptive older brother.
“The dialogue is riveting, and the portrayed family dynamic of competitiveness and need for approbation is both palpable and understandable.
“The involved situation of family conflicts and lies is interesting from the start, and it becomes more engrossing as things develop.
“ but the movie is still very exciting and a great watch.
“1958 was the year that saw the sudden, and unexpected, emergence of Burl Ives, previously better known as a country singer, as a film star.
“ A top-notch adaptation of Tennessee Williams' classic play, the first screen version of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF is a wrenching and intense character study that brings out the best of nearly every individual involved.
“ I kept seeing the beginning and ending of this film throughout the 70s on the weekend afternoon movie (Saturday or Sunday), and it was one of those "boring adult movies" about stuff that only adults care about.