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Classic Film Junkie: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

March 25, 2011

I was so sad to hear about Elizabeth Taylor’s passing yesterday, and it got me to thinking about my favorite classic film. It may not be the most talked about, or the highest ranked classic film ever made, but for some reason I love it so much that it is on the top of my list.

I love anything based on Tennessee Williams, but the thing that makes me care for this story about “rich people problems” is Elizabeth Taylor’s performance. She makes you feel for her character, and the whole story surrounding her.

The story follows Brick (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player who has been avoiding affection (a.k.a sex, but they tip-toed around it in those days) with his wife, but when they come to visit his family for his Father’s birthday all kinds problems and revelations spill out. He finds out his father is dying, and everyone around him seems to be lying and sneaking to make a good impression on the old man and insure some money for themselves when he dies. Brick’s brother and (horribly annoying) wife Mae parade their army of brats around to prove that they are the most fertile, and in that case better choice to continue the family legacy. But Maggie (Taylor) is determined to fix her marriage AND protect her interests.

It’s hard to explain why the film just is so good…(or apparently sum up what it’s about), But I highly recommend seeing it. It’s an essential classic film, and Taylor shines throughout it.

During the filming of the movie, she lost her husband in a plane crash and although she was devastated, she continued to film. The intense emotions she must have been feeling only add to the depth she brings to the role. She was an amazing star. They just don’t make them like they used to… and she will be sorely missed.


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