Suddenly, Last Summer- screenplay by Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams ‘play
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Suddenly, Last Summer is an exceptional film.
It is included on the New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list
And all the elements needed for a masterpiece are in place:
- A wonderful play written by the genius Tennessee Williams and a screenplay where he collaborated with Gore Vidal
- The director is exceptional and the cast is outstanding: Montgomery Clift, Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor
The conditions are perfect and this tense psychological drama is rewarding, even if the suffering of the heroine is hard to watch at times.
In fact, Elizabeth Taylor has won the Golden Globe for her performance and she was nominated, with her partner Katharine Hepburn for an Academy Award.
The tagline of the movie is:
- Tennessee Williams shocks you again as he transports you to a STRANGE, NEW BOLD WORLD!
From the beginning, we learn the plight of this state hospital where complicated operations are performed.
A group of visitors is supposed to watch a splendidly gifted surgeon in action, but the light goes off while he operates.
He is mad at the end of the surgery, performed on the brain and says that he hopes they will not have this chance again.
To watch an extremely complex operation take place in such outrageous circumstances, where not even the lights work.
This is Montgomery Clift as Doctor Cukrowicz of Chicago and he discusses with the manager of the hospital about problems.
They do not have money, but there is some hope, for a wealthy widow is interested in offering some help.
So the doctor meets this would be philanthropist at her weird mansion, where a jungle is placed on the premises.
Mrs. Violet Venable is portrayed by the Cinema goddess Katharine Hepburn in a majestic and appropriately outlandish manner.
The widow tells stories about her son Sebastian, and I was especially struck by the description of the turtles ‘birth.
They all feel the urge to lay eggs on this island and then the small turtles are born and huge numbers of predators circle the area.
We have seen this on Discovery of BBC, but it is still impressive and touching to hear Violet Venable talk about it.
Furthermore, Sebastian said that only a percentage of a percentage escape the many “black birds” and they compare this to the fate of humans.
The rich widow wants the specialist to perform surgery on her niece, who has been with Sebastian when he died and Catherine went crazy.
At least this is the initial version, but as Dr. Cukrowitz meets the young woman and starts to talk with her, there are doubts.
Yes, the experience has been so traumatic that the defense mechanism prevents the patient from remembering what has actually happened at the time of death of the young cousin whose cause of death is given as heart attack.
It becomes clear that Catherine may actually have a better chance than the surgery which is basically a lobotomy.
There are many moments of high tension and superb acting, with Elizabeth Taylor proving extreme talent.
The young woman is evidently tormented and the viewer understands the trauma and the terrible experience she had been through.
It is an issue of PTSD that may be replaced by PTG that is a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that could give way to Post Traumatic Growth.
The fate of the girl is in the hands of the young surgeon and there appears to be an attraction between the two.