Box art for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


a wealthy plantation owner succumbing to cancer one of the most acclaimed movies in history. Year: 1958

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
1 out of 5

Classics-loving teens will appreciate family melodrama.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the characters in this movie lie to each other and keep secrets from each other. One of the characters is an alcoholic.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the lies that the characters tell each other. Why does Maggie compare herself to a cat on a hot tin roof? What is the roof, and what makes it hot? Why won't Brick agree to get Maggie pregnant? Who is he mad at? Why? Why does Brick have such contempt for himself? What does Skipper's death have to do with it? What makes Brick change his mind?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

4 stars

"cat on a hot tin roof" would probably be the very picture in which paul newman and elizabeth taylor radiate the maxium of sex appeal despite their primitive physical allure has been shimmeringly evident in almost every picture they made separately within 1950s but "cat on a hot tin roof" shall be the most powerful one. somehow i wonder how came tennese williams' plays catapulted into such enormous stardom in the 50s since those reputed scripts of his had been composed and put into broadway during 1940s, why 1950s had the appropriate atmosphere for the williams temperament to glow and shine brilliantly upon the silver screen? my personal assumption may have lots to do with the death of film noir as well as the newly arised and foundamentally revolutionized sort of manhood and gendering attributes. as i dissected previously upon the archetypes of tennse williams protagonists: weakening men in resistance of strong sexually loaded women who are ironically enslaved by their unsatiable desire toward distant unavailable men conflicted with impotence and homosexuality. so williams effortlessly forms a literary garden of homme fatales and women as the saps within the traps of elusive charm boys, opposite to the conventional world of film noir viewing woman as the central object of fatal attraction which men would die for. 1950s is the period for the phallic ladies like joan crawford, bette davis and barbara stanwyck started to fall out of favor as the dizzy blonde and chaste ingenuine female types began to reign, such as marilyn monroe and audrey hepburn when the whole society was enclosed with a wholesome aura demanded by for male types, the notion of man-boy occurs along with the sweeping phenomenon of junvenile leisure wears as james dean and marlon brando point would be men had been made to demonstrate their side of frailty and also remain favorably charming like paul newman's character in "cat on a hot tin roof", and newman has won the public affection while his character with the play is a wimpish drunk inflicted with misogynistic sex frigidity and potential homosexual tedency, at most of the time, newman's whining and mourning while the voiluptuous elizabeth taylor literily begs him to shag her(pardon the usage of language without euphemism due to the effect i apply) and she doesn't mind he barely pulls the thing off at the drunken state. why wouldn't newman's machismo be doubted and defiled while his character is obviously a frightened loser? perhaps only paul newman could accomplish the task of redeeming such role into public empathy and sympathy by his good looks and his winsome charisma. some film critic or book writers would claim elizabeth taylor for bringing a new sort of female character who dares to speak out for her rights in her roles of "butterfield 8" and "cat on a hot tin roof", women with strength of life to survive. but one fact they neglec would be: wouldn't taylor's cinematic characters also be pushed around by men? would that be self-deragatory enough to have her role pleading for such petite wish to bed with a man who apparently contempts her? in the film noir cinema of 1940s, men are the saps who are at the sparing mercy of sinister dames whose crotches could dominate the world and high-hat the men with their feminine scents. (pardon the phrases, ha.) wouldn't elizabeth taylor's patronizing womanhood also be a sign of gendering conformity required by the time? why men are so afraid of women, and being warm and beautiful is not enough anymore and you have to apologize for being so to win the heart of men? at one scene of the movie, taylor is on the verge of cracking up in vulnerabilty, longing for newman's touch to console her, and she even says if you wouldn't make love to me again, i would use a long knife to stick into my heart...all he does is to hide in the restroom and cling by the door to smell his wife's silky pajamas instead of offering her a bit of compassion..the audience is able to buy into that because it's paul newman who is handsome enough to acquire your forgiveness come what may. as the movie poster demonstrates, the woman is leaning over the man desperately while the man glares without responce, so object of desire is the man. but taylor was so beautiful you forget the outrageous reversal of genders. paul newman's character also rebels against his intimidating father no less harsh than james dean, wouldn't that be a new sort of beatnik boyish manhood by defying your daddy and pushing away your beautiful wife like a misogynist who's got to prove he's not threatened or weakened by the feminine charm? elizabeh taylor is surely the most beautiful ever in "cat in the hot tin roof" but she ain't certainly no seductress. paul newman is.

- dietmountaindew, Wednesday, May 20, 2009

3 stars

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a good movie with great acting all around, but it really makes me mad that the play was changed so much because of the production codes of the fifties.

- adfill7, Friday, February 20, 2009

4 stars

Tasteful sexual tension at its finest. Brick is an apathetic, tormented alcoholic who is too stubborn and bitter to give in to the advances of his sensual wife Maggie who feels unloved and unwanted. Full of passion and family rivalries. Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman are SEXY in this flick!

- crazydannielle16, Friday, August 10, 2007