Best Movies by Farr
Suddenly, Last Summer Poster
Released Runtime Category
1959 114 Drama
Director Language
Joseph L. Mankiewicz English
Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Katharine Hepburn

Suddenly, Last Summer

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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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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"