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    Suddenly, Last Summer

    Suddenly, Last Summer Poster
    Suddenly, Last Summer Poster

    Released

    1959

    Runtime

    114

    Suddenly, Last Summer

    What's it About

    Wealthy matron Mrs. Violet Venable (Hepburn) enlists renowned Chicago brain surgeon Dr. John Cukrowicz (Clift) to lobotomize her niece Catherine (Taylor), who has been institutionalized since the death of Violet's son Sebastian the previous summer. Dr. Cukrowicz's curiosity is piqued, and he sets out to discover what happened to Violet... but the formidable young woman, nursing a dark family secret, seems intent on thwarting Dr. Cukrowicz's inquiry.

    Why we love it

    A lurid Southern Gothic tale (adapted by Gore Vidal from a one-act Tennessee Williams play), Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “Suddenly, Last Summer” is a trifle campy and overheated, but rich with smart, biting dialogue. Hepburn is haughty and indomitable as an overprotective mother, while Taylor is rivetingly sensual — even in the apoplectic fits of distress we witness in the climactic flashback scene. Mankiewicz handles themes of forbidden desire and depravity with consummate skill, making this a memorable “Summer” indeed.

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