7.6/10
12,641
134 user 44 critic

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | January 1960 (USA)
Trailer
2:43 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (play), Gore Vidal (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A student falls in love with a Southern belle, but their relationship is complicated by her troubled past and the onset of the Civil War.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Manhattan call girl has a tragic affair with a rich married man.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
Giant (1956)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bizarre tale of sex, betrayal, and perversion at a military post.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Brian Keith
The Heiress (1949)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

1183 A.D.: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him.

Director: Anthony Harvey
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands...but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Catherine Holly
Katharine Hepburn ... Mrs. Venable
Montgomery Clift ... Dr. Cukrowicz
Albert Dekker ... Dr. Hockstader
Mercedes McCambridge ... Mrs. Holly
Gary Raymond ... George Holly
Mavis Villiers ... Miss Foxhill
Patricia Marmont Patricia Marmont ... Nurse Benson
Joan Young Joan Young ... Sister Felicity
Maria Britneva ... Lucy
Sheila Robins Sheila Robins ... Dr. Hockstader's Secretary (as Sheila Robbins)
David Cameron David Cameron ... Young Blonde Interne
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The One They're All Talking About! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Plötzlich im letzten Sommer See more »

Filming Locations:

Begur, Girona, Catalonia, Spain See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,897,500
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The second of three Tennessee Williams that Elizabeth Taylor starred in. The first was Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), the last was Boom! (1968). See more »

Goofs

Violet's hand jumps from her neck to her mouth when she tells the doctor that Sebastian had been looking for hungry birds. See more »

Quotes

Catherine Holly: Yes, we all use each other and that's what we think of as love, and not being able to use each other is what's - hate...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Censura: Alguns Cortes (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Unsung, surreal masterpiece
16 February 2008 | by robb_772See all my reviews

Long-fabled as one of the most bizarre films to come out Hollywood during the years of the Production Code's strict enforcement, SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER is a riveting psychological drama that remains absolutely gut-wrenching even after nearly fifty years since it's original release. Screenwriter Gore Vidal takes Tennessee Williams' one-act play and runs with it, fleshing out the central characters and expanding the story's central arc. Vidal had the seemingly impossibly task of taking a tale involving homosexuality, incest, pedophilia, and even cannibalism and presenting it all in a manner that would be acceptable to the rigid Production Code, yet still coherent to the average film audience. Not only did Vidal succeed victoriously, but the slightly ambiguous nature of the film's climax and denouncement actually makes the twice as unsettling and disturbing.

With relatively few characters to populate the story the performances are absolutely crucial, and the tight-knit cast delivers the goods in spades. Long after many of her acting contemporaries of the thirties and forties had been forgotten, Katharine Hepburn continued to reign supreme on the silver screen and her sublime performance as the manipulative and cunning Mrs. Venable ranks among Hepburn's best work of the decade. The wounded vulnerability of a post-car accident Montgomery Clift serves him well in a difficult role as the middle man between the film's leading ladies, and the still-handsome actor provides a humane, completely genuine performance that supplies viewers with level-headed window into the off-kilter story. Albert Dekker, Mercedes McCambridge and Gary Raymond also excel in minor roles.

The film's biggest surprise, however, is the exceptional portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in the film's central performance. Although usually somewhat of an uneven actress, Taylor completely nails a dauntingly difficult role in a complex, multilayered performance that deservedly won her a Golden Globe Award as well as her third consecutive Oscar nomination. During the film's climatic revelation, Taylor lets out a series of bone-chilling screams that I could never imagine coming out of any other actress. Not only does it remain Taylor's finest performance (which is a considerable achievement when one considers that WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF is also on her resume), but it is also a performance that simply could not be bettered.

Although perhaps he could never surpass 1949's A LETTER TO THREE WIVES or 1950's ALL ABOUT EVE in the eyes of most viewers, SUMMER contains some of the finest work of director Joseph L. Mankiewicz' legendary career. Brilliantly combining southern Gothicism with straight-faced psychodrama and even grandiose horror, Mankiewicz stitches the various seemingly disparate threads together in a harrowing, yet perversely satisfying whole. Even the lengthy, sometimes criticized flashback sequence is an absolute tour de force of film-making that leaves viewers emotionally exhausted as one experiences the on screen turmoil more than simply watching it. An often unheralded classic, the film remains of the most sorely underrated films of its era.


28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 134 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed