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Suddenly, Last Summer

Saturday, May 29, 2021, 7:30 p.m., Dryden Theatre

(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, US 1959, 114 min., 35mm)

Tennessee Williams’s gothic play (adapted by Gore Vidal) is given the big-screen treatment with a typical Mankiewicz touch. Patrician southern widow Mrs. Venable (Katharine Hepburn) summons newly arrived neurologist Dr. Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) to her home to talk about her niece, Catherine Holly (Elizabeth Taylor), who appears to have gone mad after the death of Venable’s son. Venable sees lobotomy as a quick fix, while Cukrowicz has his doubts. As he treats Holly and digs deeper into her past, family secrets are revealed that Venable would rather keep hidden. The fusion of Williams and Mankiewicz (both known for their dialogue) brings sizzling intensity to this surprising psychological drama. Hepburn earned her eighth Academy Award nomination and Taylor her third in a row for their performances.

 

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