Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
  • 13329
  • Approved
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 1959 ()
  • Running time: 114 min
  • Original Title: Suddenly, Last Summer
  • Voted: 13329

A wealthy harridan, Violet Venable, attempts to bribe Dr. Cukrowicz, a young psycho-surgeon from a New Orleans mental hospital that is desperately in need of funds, into lobotomizing her niece, Catherine Holly. Violet wants the operation performed in order to prevent Catherine from defiling the memory of her son, the poet Sebastian. Catherine has been babbling obscenely about Sebastian's mysterious death that she witnessed while on holiday together in Spain the previous summer.

1Elizabeth TaylorCatherine Holly
2Katharine HepburnMrs. Venable
3Montgomery CliftDr. Cukrowicz
4Albert DekkerDr. Hockstader
  • by

    The main trouble with the picture is not its subject or its style, but its length.

  • by

    The cast packs enough sexual ambiguity to satisfy the most rabid Williams fan (not to mention a screenplay by Gore Vidal), but Mankiewicz leaves much of the innuendo unexplored -- thankfully, perhaps.

  • by

    It has some very effective moments, but on the whole it fails to move.

  • by

    On film, with Taylor as the woman who saw something nasty and Clift as the psychiatrist trying to probe her trauma, the one-act material is stretched perilously thin; but it works for Hepburn as the incarnation of civilised depravity.

  • by 2/5

    The main trouble with this picture is that an idea that is good for not much more than a blackout is stretched to exhausting length and, for all its fine cast and big direction, it is badly, pretentiously played.

1Malcolm Arnoldcomposer
2Buxton Orrcomposer
3Joseph L. Mankiewiczdirector
4Sam Spiegelproducer
5Tennessee Williamswriter
6Gore Vidalwriter