Sunday, April 24, 2011

Suddenly Last Summer (Rhoades)

“Suddenly, Last Summer” Pays Double Homage
 Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

The Monday Night Classic at the Tropic Cinema this week deserves notice – for two reasons. First, as a tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor, that violet-eyed actress who stars in “Suddenly, Last Summer” along with her longtime pal Montgomery Cliff. And second, because the author of the one-act play on which it’s based was Key West’s own Tennessee Williams.

This 1959 film has been described as a “Southern Gothic horror/mystery,” largely for its setting of a mental institution and its veiled tale of homoerotic cannibalism.

Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor) is institutionalized after witnessing her cousin Sebastian’s death in Europe. Her aunt (Katherine Hepburn) wants her lobotomized to wipe out any remnants of the sordid events surrounding Sebastian demise. Dr. Cuckrowicz (Montgomery Cliff) wants to hear the story about how Sebastian was using Catherine to attract boys for his own pleasure, a tactic that went awry.

Although Tennessee Williams was credited as co-writer of the film’s screenplay along with Gore Vidal, he later said that he had nothing to do with the script. Yet, the theme is pure Tennessee Williams.
[from Solares Hill] 

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