Suddenly Last Summer

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Years ago, in university, I was involved in a production of Tennessee William's play Suddenly Last Summer. I was very excited to hear that the BFI are holding a Tennessee Williams season at the moment, and went to see a film version of the play last night.

It was spectacular - Katherine Hepburn as the venomous yet fragile Violet and Elizabeth Taylor as the sultry yet disturbed Catherine.

One of the highlights was this scene - the first appearance of Violet, descending from above on her throne. It's camp, it's fabulous, and so very Tennessee Williams.


Ed said...


I enjoyed your posting. I'm not sure if you make it to the states during the late summer, or ever vacation on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but you should check out the Tennessee Williams Provincetown Theater Festival that I have the pleasure to work for. 2009 will find us in our 4th year, and the Festival is gathering international attention.

Yes, I also love this film. Yet, it is important to recognize that it was in fact, Williams least favorite film interpretation of any of his works:

…he said after seeing the film, his short mortality play composed in a lyrical style “was turned into a sensationally successful film that the public thinks was a literal study of such things as cannibalism, madness, and sexual deviation …it was more symbolic than actual, but many persons thought I meant it actually.” - Phillips, Gene D. The Films of Tennessee Williams, Associated University Presses, East Brunswick, NJ , 1980.

I also enjoy the 1993 BBC production with Maggie Smith and Rob Lowe. Please check out my blog, . I would be interested in your comments, and I hope to see you in Provincetown in September 2009!

Ed said...

The web site for the Festival is !!!!

Adrian said...

Hi Ed - thanks for your comments. I'm not often in the US, but should I find myself nearby I'll check your festival out.

I can see why Williams may not have enjoyed the film. I thought the final monologue was a little too literal for my like. I enjoyed it on stage, as your mind decides what's going on.

I never knew there was a production with DAME Maggie Smith. I must check that out!

Ed said...

Indeed, DAME Maggie Smith!