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Tuesday, June 3, 2008


In this film adaptation, it's the original play, rather than the antihero, that gets emasculated. Tennessee Williams’ florid meller (prodigal son comes home & gets castrated!) was the sort of commercial success that fed off of his worst self-parodistic aspects, but it surely could have turned out better than this travesty from writer/helmer Richard Brooks. Never the most fluid or natural of directors (to put it nicely), Brooks brought off Williams ’ CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF/‘58, but what was slightly coarse or miscalculated there now becomes the basic platform. Geraldine Page, only a year older than co-star Paul Newman, can’t make sense of her part (who could?), and in an overbearing cast, only Rip Torn gets his effects without going all Southern Gothic on us.

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