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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Widescreen/Full Screen)

Elizabeth Taylor , Paul Newman , Richard Brooks    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Widescreen/Full Screen) + -Hud + Long Hot Summer
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

It sounds like perfect casting: Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones do one of Tennessee Williams's most powerful works. But this filmed stage play doesn't quite fulfill the promise. Lange certainly has all the right ingredients: the sensual moves, the fluttering neuroses, the scheming-with-a-smile, but it doesn't quite ring true. It's as if the star and her director failed to make the full transition from stage acting to the smaller, more nuanced acting demands of film. Jones is badly miscast as Brick--the character is mopey and riven with insecurities, while Jones's forte is garrulous confidence. It feels like he's acting with a muzzle on. Rip Torn is terrific as Big Daddy (his scenes with Jones are the best in the piece) and the rest of the cast is all up to the game. Tennessee Williams reworked the script for this American Playhouse production, restoring some sexual frankness lost in earlier productions. The piece has some real fireworks, and not just in the places you might expect. Lange and Jones would team up again to better effect in the 1994 drama Blue Sky. --Geof Miller

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanity at it's best... June 12 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is a spectacular visual masterpiece about the human spirit.
Every character has three dimensions, and every line is perfectly written and delivered. Credit is needed for the original playright(although I am aware the plot was altered to please the strict critics of the time), who along with the screenplay writers are as important as the actors.
Speaking of actors, Liz Taylor, Burl Ives and Paul Newman were all flawless in their roles. They were human, and as a painting they were more real than reality. My opinions of the characters changed continually throughout the film. It was as if you were peeling away the skin layer by layer to find the truth. Annoyance turned into hate, hate turned into compassion.
The most important element of this film was feelings;emotions the players have, and have to deal with. As well as how you feel about them, and their situations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MEEEOOOOW! Jan. 27 2004
Format:DVD
"Cat on the Hot Tin Roof"
Has so much tension, one can't cut it with a machete... Just another very dysfunctional family, which Tennessee Williams writes so brilliantly.
You have Maggie (the cat) The only character in the extended family who is 'Normal' The only one who seems to be keeping the family from killing one another. Liz, of course plays her beautifully, superbly, very sexy as 'The Cat'
(Brick) Paul Newman plays her husband...A drunk with many devils he needs to let out, such as why he will not sleep with Maggie, why won't he stop thinking about his foot-ball buddy who killed himself. The viewer will wonder if his has other preferences... Because who wouldn't sleep with (The Cat)??
Big Daddy...played by Burl Ives... The GOD of the family, the one with all the money, Power, the one who's dying. (Excellent performance)
(Goober) Brick's brother and his wife wait impatiently for Big Daddy's fortune. The wife is appalling enough to make one sick. Continually taunting Maggie about not having children, having a bad marriage, not controlling Brick. Her kids run around the house like little, foul animals.
This family is a disaster waiting to happen...The pressure cooker is on high, baby, and when she blows
Watch out...All hell will break loose all over the place.
They don't make um' like this anymore.
MEEEEOOOOOW!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strong stuff for its day. Children by Diane Arbus Nov. 29 2003
By abt1950
Format:DVD
Tennesee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is a powerful play and here has been made into a powerful film. Family ties, lies, power, money, death, sexual troubles and even sibling rivalry coalesce as the troubled Pollitt family deals with the terminal illness of its patriarch. Although the gay subtext has been muted to fit 1950's sensitibilities, it's still there, adding resonance to the film. There's a bit of the mannered approach common to movies of the period, which gives the film a more theatrical feel than many movie adaptations of plays. In some ways, "Cat" comes across as an early, Southern version of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf."
The acting in this film is superb, if a little over-the-top at times. "Maggie the Cat" is a plum dramatic role, and Elizabeth Taylor more than does it justice. In her hands, Maggie's basic humanity alternates with her greed to eventually define her. Paul Newman likewise turns in an excellent performance as the troubled Brick. Burl Ives steals the show as Big Daddy, the larger-than-life dying patriarch. Jack Carson and Madelaine Sherwood play the elder, less-favored son and his fecund wife, Mae. Mae and her brood are played as wonderfully grotesque charicatures, greatly enhancing the oppressive atmosphere of the film. If you think of Diane Arbus shooting a movie, you'll get an excellent idea of what Mae and her little "no-neck monsters" are like.
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3.0 out of 5 stars NOT WILLIAM'S AND A LOUSY TRANSFER TO BOOT! Oct. 25 2003
By Nix Pix
Format:DVD
It's a curious thing that Hollywood often tackled subject matter that it was forbidden to show on the screen. The net result - a good many stage plays often had more than a bit of doctoring going on before making it to the big screen. "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" is no exception. The original story concerns itself with Brick's homosexuality and his resulting inability to find his lovely wife even remotely attractive - at least enough to impregnate her with an heir to his father's plantation fortune. However, homosexuality was a big NO, NO in the movies. So instead we get Brick (Paul Newman) as a sexually frigid prig who thinks that his wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor) has been having an affair with his best friend, Skipper (whom we never see). Thus the balance of power and the resulting confusions which are straightened out in the end don't seem to make much sense. Nevertheless, "Cat" is a compelling piece of 50's kitsch. Richard Brooks ably directs what's left of the plot and the relationship that he fleshes out between Big Daddy (Burl Ives) and Brick is genuinely touching. Dame Judith Anderson gives a poignant and heartbreaking performance as Big Daddy's dopey wife.
TRANSFER: YUCK! Colors are weak and not well balanced. Flesh tones are often jaundice. There's a decidedly green tint to most indoor scenes and an overly blue tint to outdoor scenes. Age related artifacts are everywhere! Contrast and black levels are fairly accurate, though a few darker scenes appear to be suffering from less than 'black' blacks. Edge enhancement rears its ugly head now and then and is somewhat distracting. The audio is MONO but nicely balanced.
EXTRAS: FORGET IT! Not a one!
BOTTOM LINE: The story already distilled - the transfer, pretty much a mess - this really isn't the way I want to remember Tennessee Williams.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Service
We enjoyed the movie. It was everything we expected and great to watch on a big screen. We will probably watch it again some wintery evening.
Published 12 months ago by Rosita MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
I had this movie on VHS and I am trying to replace all my VHS movies with DVD versions. It was quite cheap to purchase and arrived soon after I ordered it. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Simba
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Acting doesn't come any better than this. Newman and Taylor have such chemistry its unbelievable, and although the movie may drag in certain parts, overall it is a great character... Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2004 by D.W. Griffith
3.0 out of 5 stars Lies.
"Cat on a hot tin roof" is a play that was filmed in an effort to customize it to the silver screen. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2003 by Eran Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Piece of Filmmaking!!!
I don't think there is one bad thing I could say about "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof"! I love everything about it! Read more
Published on June 5 2003 by musiclover13
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Newman is sooo [gorgeous]!
I glanced through the other reviews for this movie, and everyone seemed to be raving about the powerful emotions and all that. Read more
Published on April 30 2003 by Carrie Elizabeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Dysfunctionalism before it was in vogue
When the familial vultures hear that Big Daddy Burl Ives is dying of cancer, they flock to his southern Gothic spread for a supposed 65th birthday, and the Pollitt brood brings... Read more
Published on March 17 2003 by Christopher M. MacNeil
5.0 out of 5 stars "You know what I'm contemplatin'? Pleasure."
This is a powerful film full of great acting, built on the play of one of our greatest writers: Tennessee Williams. Read more
Published on June 17 2002 by rballjones
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, though altered, version of the play
Tennessee William's play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", was considered so controversial that its Broadway producers forced the playwright to alter the third act. Read more
Published on June 7 2002 by Matthew Horner
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