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Long Hot Summer '58 (Bilingual)

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, Orson Welles, Lee Remick
  • Directors: Martin Ritt
  • Writers: Harriet Frank Jr., Irving Ravetch, William Faulkner
  • Producers: Jerry Wald
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 20 2003
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00008MTW2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,568 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Orson Welles, Anthony Franciosa, Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury co-star in this riveting tale of life in the Deep South. Provocative and compelling, it simmers with sexual tension, bawdy humor and a powerful clash of personalities. When Ben Quick (Newman), a suspected barnburner drifts into town, he catches the eye of Will Varner, a tyrannical, intimidating patriarch (Welles) who decides Quick is the ideal husband for his spinsterish daughter (Woodward). But once the loner moves in, the two men lock horns, drawing Varner's family into a complex web of emotions and actions that leaves all of them changed forever.

Paul Newman has his glorious youthful swagger in this southern-fried melodrama, which marked his first picture with Joanne Woodward (they married after shooting ended). The script is a melange of William Faulkner stories, although it appears more under the influence of Tennessee Williams and Picnic than the Nobel Prize winner. Drifter Newman catches the eye of schoolmarm Woodward and her father, a rural Mississippi bigshot (Orson Welles). This is not one of Welles's better moments; he appears to be conducting make-up experiments. There is some enjoyable flapdoodle along the way, in the Freud-meets-Gone with the Wind manner of '50s southern cooking, but the ending is embarrassingly compromised. The same production team would leave out the box-office concessions a few years later on Hud. A studly Newman justifies this description of his character: "I wish I was Ben Quick. He's got the whole state of Mississippi to graze on." --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Paul Newman at his "charming self", he plays the part of a scoundrel but you can relate to his difficult childhood and therefore you can appreciate his anger. My favourite movie of him and his wife. Also Anthony Franciosa was a good supporting actor.
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Format: DVD
"The Long Hot Summer" was (for its time)a steamy study of sexual repression and sensual misbehavior. It starred Paul Newman as a drifter accused of barn burning who sets up house-keeping with the daughter (Joanne Woodward) of a rich plantation owner (Orson Welles). The on screen chemistry is certainly there and why not. This film just happened to be the catalyst for the real life romance between Newman and Woodward. Contextualizing the fact that the censors still reigned supreme during the time of its production, "The Long Hot Summer" still proved to be a smoldering, sexy drama fraught with tension and chaos.
THE TRANSFER: Fox has done a particularly nice job on remastering this movie. Yes, the flicker of scene changes (inherant in all early Cinemascope films)remains present and yes, color consistancy leaves something to be desired. But over all, colors are nicely balanced, if showing slight fading. Contrast and shadow levels are well represented. Pixelization, shimmering and edge enhancement, though all present, are kept to a bare minimum. The audio is Stereo surround and, even though considerably dated, still manages to have a hearty kick in all of the speakers.
EXTRAS: Very nice - the Backstory featurette that details the production of the film, a Paul Newman gallery, original movietone snippet and the film's theatrical trailer.
BOTTOM LINE: This is a nice presentation and a pretty good film besides. At the extremely economical price that Fox has advertised it at, "The Long Hot Summer" is guaranteed to burn up your DVD player.
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Format: VHS Tape
Paul Newman plays another one of his cocky, dangerous characters in this story of a drifter who moves into a small Mississippi town dominated by fatcat Orson Welles. Welles' own son, Anthony Franciosa is weak, and he likes Newman and wants to match him up with his staid daughter Joanne Woodward, but she's not interested ... or at least not at first. Newman's high wattage star charisma is on display here as the man who manages to get out of tight spots and can spot an opportunity when it is presented. Woodward is very good as the young woman who needs to let go and allow herself to live. Welles dominates every scene he is in, with his characteristic bluster and dramatics a good fit for this character. Lee Remick, as Franciosa's wife, and Angela Lansbury, as Welles longtime girlfriend, are both sadly underused. The script has got some great bits of dialogue, and the main characters are allowed to develop quite well. But the ending seems rushed, and the full dramatic potential of the town's confrontation with Newman and Welles is not allowed to play out enough. The movie does evoke a Southern atmosphere, and this chance to see Newman and Woodward in their primes shouldn't be missed.
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Format: VHS Tape
OK, this is the one everyone mixes up with "Cat on A Hot Tin Roof." It's the Tennessee Williams movie that was really based on William Faulkner, but still FEELS like Tennessee Williams. It's the one where the Burl Ives role was played by Orson Welles. But the Paul Newman part is still played by Paul Newman--which no doubt is one reason for the confusion.
It's hard to imagine in 2001 how revolutionary the (now) demure references Joanne Woodward makes to her decidedly repressed sexuality must have seemed in 1958. And Lee Remick flouncing around in her slip and falling languidly into Tony Franciosa's eager arms must have seemed pretty racy at the time. (Of course, Lee and Tony had perfected the act in the previous year's "Face In the Crowd.") All of this seems pretty tepid nowadays. More's the pity, I guess.
As a time capsule, the movie's priceless. Dramatically, though, the pacing could have been lots better. This was only director Martin Ritt's third theatrical effort. Although he is known for getting good performances out of his actors, the script here lets him and the cast down. Dramatic scenes (Jody's attempted murder of his overbearing father; the attempted lynching of Ben Quick by the enraged townsmen) seem rushed and are ultimately more ludicrous than moving. Potentially affecting, the movie is more often frustrating.
But as potboilers of the era go, "Long Hot Summer" remains a must see. The chemistry between Woodward and Newman is evident in this, their first film together. Remick continues her Southern belle shtick begun in "Face in the Crowd" (and that she'd revisit again in another Faulkner-based epic, "Sanctuary") in a way surprisingly winsome for a gal from Quincy, Mass.
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Format: VHS Tape
Adapted from some William Faulkner stories, this 1958 film certainly lives up to its name. It is "hot". The setting is a small town in the Deep South and the characters familiar, but under the skillful direction of Martin Rich, they spring to life as complex, flawed and very human individuals. Paul Newman, in his prime then, is cast as Ben Quick, a young drifter who is taken under the wing of the town's patriarch, Will Varner, played by Orson Wells. Newman romances Varner's schoolteacher daughter, Clara, played by Joanne Woodward, and competes with Varner's son Jody, played by Anthony Franciosa, for the old man's respect and affection. Lee Remick is cast as Jody's pretty wife and Angela Lansbury plays Varner's lady friend. What a cast!
Both Paul Newman and Orson Wells exude the essence of macho in the finest southern tradition. I can almost smell all that testosterone right off the video screen. There's nothing politically correct about this story, as the strength of the women lies only in the way they can manipulate the men in their lives. And, in spite of Joanne Woodward's, declaration of how much she loves books, the audience knows that what she really wants is nothing less than the kind of man who will make her wake up smiling each morning. This was the first movie that Woodward and Newman made together and they married shortly thereafter and so the audience is treated to a very special chemistry between them. Newman's blue eyes sparkle and his sexiness comes through loud and clear when he takes off his shirt. His body is naturally rugged without the sculptured pumped and ripped muscles that have since become trendy. Orson Wells' outstanding performance is the glue that holds the story together.
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