Suddenly, Last Summer
A beautiful girl is committed to a mental institution after witnessing the violent death of her cousin. The doctor uses a truth serum on her and confirms his suspicions that her hallucinations are indeed fact.
© 1960, renewed 1988 Horizon Pictures (G.B.) Ltd. ll Rights Reserved
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 9see all Suddenly, Last Summer reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Rotten: The main trouble with this picture is that an idea that is good for not much more than a blackout is stretched to exhausting length and, for all its fine cast and big direction, it is badly, pretentiously played.
- Bosley Crowther, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Rotten: The cast packs enough sexual ambiguity to satisfy the most rabid Williams fan (not to mention a screenplay by Gore Vidal), but Mankiewicz leaves much of the innuendo unexplored -- thankfully, perhaps.
- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Suddenly, last summer, Cathy knew she was being used for something evil!
- ScoopOnline, Monday, December 14, 2009
"suddenly, last summer" is another cinematic adaption from tennessee willaims' tale of subdued lust channeled thru auto-eroticism, and the catatonic revelation shows williams' conventional stance of guilt against homosexuality since its gay protagonist appears obscurely "faceless", incurring the doom to be devoured and sliced into pieces which adds up a gothic aroma of god's merciless condemnation against incest and onanism. letting alone the vying feud between its stars: clift, taylor and hepburn. (the recovering clift from disfiguration and alcoholism shuns aside insipidly as taylor and hepburn are eager to monopolize the screen time), the movie is dialogue-driven (just like any classic movie based upon williams' plays) under narrowed indoor spots which creates an adequate claustrophobic fright which fits the story, particularly the artificial prehistorical garden of sebastian's residence. it's a story about a psychiatrist(clift) who is urgent to gather the one million to build up the public hospital from a rich widow, miss violet(hepburn), who is over-obsessed with her demised son, sebastian, meanwhile he doesn't wanna perform the cruel lobotomy to the rich widow's niece, katherine, (played by taylor, who is the witness to sebastian's death, who might expose the sordid details within violet and sebastian) against his conscience. the mere alternative is to find out how sebastian died last summer, so the desperate psychiatrist must exert himself to obtain the fund from one woman; truth from the other. the riveting aspect would still be tennesse williams' two archetypes of genders. as for the male protagonists, williams favor to mold homosexual males with a genteel soul of poet intimated by the gluttonous desire of the strong females, OR muscular brutes with lush physicality contempt women in an earnestly misogynistic way. commonly, willaims' woman characters are all voluptuous powerful females who suffer from the void of sexual consummation, promiscuous but eternally dissatisfied by their intense want of sex. sebastian is the most frequently mentioned name in the script, and it seems like everything whirls around this enigmatic sebastian whose existence could jeopardize the inward peace of these two dynamic women, but the obliterated cameo of sebastian leaves audience more space of imagination (just like rebecca in hitchcockian fable) as the non-existent homme fatale who brings ill-fate to hot-headed passionate women. as freud once remarks, homosexuality might be rooted from the manipulation of an overbearing parent who views her son as the substitute lover so the man cannot romance or exercise his lust to any other woman since it would be like betraying mother whom he loves and hates terribly in the same time and "suddenly, last summer" seems like a perfect exemplification for this complex. it also reflects williams' paradoxical denial to his own inclination since he chooses to terminate sebastian, an attractive poet who turns his own mother and cousin into his pimps, in a horrid method of pessimistic fatalism as the vultures in the blue sky are destined to consume the newly born infants of sea turtles, a horrific analogy of nature's brutality against all the living things, including the misanthropic poet who covets other men. but williams does have sparing mercy for katherine who represents his miserable sister who gets lobotomized for good, so katherine survives wholesomely while the domineering violet flops into the prey of insanity as williams' simmering grudges against maternity.
- dietmountaindew, Monday, February 9, 2009